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FINDING SUCCESS IN CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE

Living With CHF

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is estimated to affect more than 5 million aging Americans and perhaps your loved one too.   This diminished capacity to pump blood can come from an overall weakened heart, a defect, or several other factors. And while maintaining consistent communication with your medical professional is paramount, there are many ways you can support and encourage your loved ones towards healthy habits.

limiting

liquids

For many Americans, the encouragement to continually hydrate is never-ending. However, for loved ones with CHF, hydration is still important but in a uniquely managed way. As the heart works harder to pump blood to the body, the kidneys likewise may have diminished capacity. In CHF adults, over-hydration can then cause a build-up of fluids in the body, which will limit your loved one’s overall health. The recommended fluid intake for a CHF adult is roughly 64 ounces (8 cups) of fluids a day. It is important to note that “fluids” are considered your traditional beverages (water, juice, soda) as well as foods that have high liquid content (popsicles, soup, gelatin treats).

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water

quenching

thirst

Many professionals contend the best way to help a loved one manage their fluids is two-fold. First, is helping your loved create a routine and schedule of spacing out their fluids throughout the day. Quite often, fluid tracking fits nicely with any other medicine or nutrition monitoring already in use. Something as simple as a whiteboard on the fridge or marked water bottles and pitchers can empower your aging family member to stay on track with fluid schedules throughout the day.

implementing

strategies

  • Eating or sucking on hard candy or gum
  • Snacking on frozen fruits such as grapes
  • Flavoring ice cubes with drops of lemon or lime as treats
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implementing

strategies

  • Eating or sucking on hard candy or gum
  • Snacking on frozen fruits such as grapes
  • Flavoring ice cubes with drops of lemon or lime as treats

evolving

nutrition needs

While managing fluid intake is vital for people with CHF, it goes hand-and-hand with nutrition alteration and management as well. Sodium is a critical factor in the diet of someone with CHF, mainly because of the way sodium affects retention and processing of fluids in the body. Moreover, a higher intake of salt will increase thirst and thus encourage your loved one to exceed their goal of liquid amounts. General recommendations suggest that an adult with CHF limits their sodium consumption to roughly 1,500 – 2,000 mg a day. Mindful nutrition decisions and planning best achieve this.

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keeping things

moving

As is true in most aging adults, an appropriate amount of exercise or movement can help dramatically in managing CHF. Movement and exercise will continue to strengthen your loved one’s body (which will reduce the demands on their heart) while managing their weight as well. Additionally, routine movement can decrease a loved one’s overall stress, which proves useful in lessening the strain on their cardiovascular system. For some aging adults, the idea of normal movement or exercise can be daunting, so it can be helpful to reframe creatively what movement could look like in their life.  Most doctors agree that 30 minutes of activity a day can help people with CHF maintain a healthy lifestyle.

FINDING SUCCESS WITHIN CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE

 For many families, hearing that a loved one has CHF could feel overwhelming. And at Beverly’s Daughter, we exist to navigate that journey with you. Connect with your loved one’s cardiologist for recommended diet, fluid, and medication plans for the best management of the CHF. 
If you would like to implement some lifestyle goals, let us know and we will connect you with a certified personal training consultant who can customize ways to implement any diet, fluid, or movement plans. We would love to partner with you and your loved one as they lead successful, full lives with CHF.

Signs Of Memory Loss

As caregivers and concerned family members, we want to make sure our elder loved ones are healthy both physically and mentally. Memory loss is very common amongst older adults, but not a ‘normal’ part of the aging process. We want to identify memory loss early so it can be treated effectively, and in some cases, reversed.

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Role Reversal: When Kids Become Caretakers

If you have an aging parent, It’s likely that you’ve already begun to help your parents in ways you’ve never had to before. Maybe you’ve begun to manage paying the bills, driving mom to doctor’s visits, or helping dad out with yard work that he just can’t do anymore. This process of role reversal is called “parentification,”  and it describes the dynamic wherein children assume more and more responsibility and control over their parent’s lives, eventually acting as parents to their parents. While confusing and possibly overwhelming, this process is a very common part of aging for older adults and their families.

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Alzheimer’s Is Life Altering For The Whole Family

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of Dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that eventually interferes with even the most basic daily living tasks. Changes in behavior and personality may require a person with Alzheimer’s to require round the clock care in a specialized facility.

Learn More »

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