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Living Successfully with Heart Failure: Managing Your Condition

CEO Tinh Phung
Image: A couple hugging and smiling. Living with heart failure can be challenging, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy a fulfilling life. Many people with this chronic condition find ways to manage their symptoms...

couple hugging and smiling Image: A couple hugging and smiling.

Living with heart failure can be challenging, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy a fulfilling life. Many people with this chronic condition find ways to manage their symptoms and thrive. By adopting healthy habits, monitoring symptoms, and following a care plan, you can improve your overall well-being.

After the Heart Failure Diagnosis

After receiving a heart failure diagnosis, it's important to take proactive steps towards managing your condition. Building new habits around better nutrition, symptom tracking, and exercise, as advised by your healthcare team, can lead to greater improvements in your health and emotional well-being.

couple hugging and smiling Image: A couple hugging and smiling.

Regularly monitoring your symptoms and prioritizing follow-up care are essential for effectively managing heart failure. If you face challenges in accessing care, affording medications, or finding transportation to medical appointments, don't hesitate to ask your healthcare team for assistance. They can help you find resources to overcome these obstacles.

At the American Heart Association, we are committed to providing quality education and expanding resources to support you and your loved ones in successfully managing heart failure. Explore the following topics to learn more:

  • Physical changes to report to your healthcare team
  • The importance of partnering with your healthcare team in your treatment
  • Support for caregivers who play a crucial role in your journey

Dealing with New Emotions

Receiving a heart failure diagnosis can bring up a range of emotions. It is common to feel alone, angry, scared, or even different from your previous self. It's crucial to acknowledge and understand these emotions as they can impact your ability to manage your symptoms effectively. If needed, don't hesitate to seek help and support.

couple hugging and smiling Image: A couple hugging and smiling.

Seeking Support

As you embark on your journey towards better health, reach out to your family and friends for support. Initially, they might seem distant or unsure how to approach your condition. Remember, their intentions are not to hurt you. It takes time for everyone to adjust to significant changes. Reconnect with your loved ones and communicate your needs.

Staying Connected with Friends and Family

Heart failure should not hinder your relationships with your loved ones. Imagine if someone you care about had heart failure instead of you – would that change your interest in them? Chances are, you would still want a close and active relationship with them. Your family and friends likely feel the same way towards you. Remember that you are deserving of love and continue to engage in life as you manage your symptoms and start feeling better.

Identifying Your Activity Goals

Managing heart failure involves regaining functionality and finding satisfaction in life. Start small by visiting a friend or taking a short walk with a family member. As you progress and become more active, you'll feel more confident handling activities outside of your home. Take some time to reflect on what matters most to you and set goals accordingly. Remember to be patient and gradually ease back into your normal daily activities.

Dealing with Advanced Heart Failure

For some individuals, heart failure may progress to an advanced stage where traditional therapies and symptom management are no longer effective. Approximately 10% of the over 6 million American adults living with heart failure face this situation. In such cases, treatment decisions become more complex.

couple hugging and smiling Image: A couple hugging and smiling.

If you or someone you know is facing advanced heart failure, it's essential to learn about the available options. Understanding advanced heart failure, recognizing your choices, and planning ahead through shared decision-making can help navigate this challenging phase. Overcoming barriers and seeking support from our online Support Network can also provide comfort and valuable insights from others in similar situations.

Remember, you don't have to face heart failure alone. With the right strategies and support, you can successfully manage your condition and lead a fulfilling life.

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