Did You Know? You are not alone. About 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure.
When your heart isn’t able to pump enough blood to keep up with your body’s needs, everyday activities like walking and climbing stairs can be difficult. Most people prefer to live at home even though they are dealing with a chronic disease like heart failure. Our home health care team will work with your doctor to help you manage heart failure symptoms so you can stay at home and reduce your chance of going back to the hospital.
Heart Failure Program Highlights
- Outcome monitoring shows our heart failure patients are less likely to go back to the hospital. They’re also more likely to see improvements in breathing, walking and the ability to do daily tasks.
- Our approach to care is backed by the latest research so you receive high-quality heart failure treatment.
- Our home health care team is made up of many types of professionals who can address the ways heart failure affects your life.
- We offer personalized care planning tailored to your needs and level of functioning.
- We’re focused on helping you be as independent as possible in managing your heart failure symptoms.
Did You Know? We treat about 100,000 patients with heart failure each year.
How Home Health Care Helps Treat Heart Failure
In collaboration with your doctor, Amedisys provides a range of home health care services. These may include nursing services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and social work. At the same time, we educate you so you can manage heart failure as independently as possible.
We empower you through:
- Education about your medications and how to manage heart failure
- Changes in diet and nutrition
- Improvements in strength and mobility
- A daily exercise routine
- Monitoring vital signs and heart failure symptoms
- Management of worsening symptoms
- Tools to monitor blood pressure, heart rate and weight (if needed)
- Education for your caregiver, so they will be included in your heart failure treatment plan
Our Heart Failure Patients See Results
We care about our patients and monitor how their heart failure symptoms improve over time. In outcome monitoring, patients in the Amedisys Heart Failure Program showed improvements at a higher rate than the industry average. Compared to those not enrolled in our heart failure program, our patients have:
- Lower rates of going back to the hospital
- Improvements in movement and shortness of breath
- Improvement in breathing
- Improvement in bathing and bed transfer
- Improvement in management of oral medications
Goals of Heart Failure Treatment
Some of the goals of our heart failure program are to:
- Empower you so you can monitor your health and know when to call for help
- Help you achieve your specific goals
- Improve your ability to stay active
- Reduce your chances of needing to go to the hospital
- Help you be as independent as possible
- Reduce heart failure symptoms
- Slow the progression of heart failure
- Improve your quality of life and help you live longer
Is the Amedisys Heart Failure Program Right for You?
Our heart failure program may be a match for your needs if you’ve experienced any of the following:
- You just received a heart failure diagnosis and/or you’re unsure of the disease process.
- You recently had worsening heart failure symptoms.
- You’re experiencing shortness of breath if you exert yourself and it’s affecting your ability to do daily activities.
- You’re having difficulty walking or moving around, which increases your risk of falling.
- You’re having difficulty understanding and managing your heart failure medications.
- You’re having difficulty making changes to your lifestyle so you can live with heart failure.
- You’re having anxiety, depression or related issues.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following heart failure symptoms:
- Weight gain
- Increase in fatigue or weakness
- Frequent coughing or wheezing
- Swelling in your feet, legs or stomach
- Shortness of breath
Early diagnosis and heart failure treatment may help you live longer and improve your overall quality of life. By keeping the lines of communication open with your health care providers, you can monitor your symptoms and get help if you start feeling worse.
Did You Know? Almost half of Americans (47%) have at least one major risk factor for heart disease.
Risk Factors for Heart Failure
The heart pumps blood to carry oxygen and other nutrients to the cells and tissues in your body. When you have heart failure, your heart doesn’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. Certain diseases and habits can increase your risk for heart failure, including:
- Coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight
Common Treatments for Heart Failure
Heart failure is a chronic condition, but treatment can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Heart failure treatment may include:
- Vasodilators (ACE inhibitors) and alternatives like angiotensin II receptor blockers – widen blood vessels to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and decrease the heart’s workload
- Beta blockers – slow your heart rate and reduce blood pressure
- Inotropes – intravenous medications given in the hospital to people with severe heart failure to maintain blood pressure and improve heart function
- Diuretics – decrease fluid in your lungs and make you urinate more often to prevent fluid from collecting in your body
- Digoxin (Lanoxin) – reduces heart failure symptoms for people with systolic heart failure and heart rhythm problems
- Supplemental oxygen – improves breathing for people with severe heart failure
- Lifestyle Changes
- Stop smoking
- Reduce sodium in your diet
- Eat a healthy diet and drink the fluids recommended by your doctor
- Daily physical activity, as recommended by your doctor
- Reduce stress
- Work toward a healthy weight
- Monitor your weight, blood pressure and other heart failure symptoms regularly
- Devices/Heart Surgery
- Coronary bypass surgery – to address severely blocked arteries
- Heart valve replacement/repair – to modify or repair a heart valve, or replace a damaged valve with an artificial valve
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators – a monitoring device that is implanted in your chest that helps your heart find a normal rhythm, similar to a pacemaker
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy – a pacemaker that sends electrical impulses to help your heart pump more efficiently
- Ventricular assist devices – a pump implanted into your chest to help your heart pump blood to your body
- Heart transplant – a surgery for people with severe heart failure to replace the diseased heart with a healthy donor heart
Heart failure can’t be cured, but lifestyle changes and heart failure treatment through the Amedisys Home Health Care program can help you feel better, stay more active and slow the progress of the disease.
Learn more about our heart failure program. Call a home health care center near you.