Heart failure is a big deal, but the name is misleading. Your senior’s heart hasn’t stopped working if she’s in heart failure; it just isn’t working as well as it needs to be working. Lifestyle changes can be one of the first steps her doctor recommends.
Vices May Need to Go
Some of the habits that your aging family member has had over the years, like smoking the occasional cigarette, can be a big problem when it comes to dealing with heart failure. But these little habits may have been with her for a long time. It’s time to take a good look at what types of vices may need to disappear for her.
Dietary Changes Are Common
Dietary changes are another big way for your senior’s doctor to help her to manage heart failure. If your elderly family member relies a great deal on processed foods, the sodium alone is not doing her any favors. Your elderly family member may need to embrace a new way of eating and that can be difficult to do.
Exercise Needs to Ramp Up
Your senior may also need to move a little more than she does now. Her doctor can help her to map out a plan for becoming a little more active in a safe way, which is vital for her. Remember that she doesn’t have to have a perfect exercise program right now. She just needs to move a little more often.
Rest Is a Factor
How well your senior is sleeping and resting also matters. She’s likely to become tired from exertion more frequently than she has in the past. Rest plays a big part in helping her to make the other changes she wants to make, so it’s important to identify whatever might be getting in the way of good rest. Once you know why she’s not resting well, you can remove those obstacles.
Frequent Check-ins with Her Doctor May Be Necessary, Too
Because of this change in your senior’s health, she may be seeing her doctor a little more often than she’s used to going. These doctor’s appointments might be about helping her to adjust to and to find the right medications as well as seeing how the lifestyle changes she’s making are helping. They’re not optional, even if your elderly family member isn’t excited about going.
Elder care providers can be instrumental in helping your elderly family member to manage her lifestyle changes. They can help her to eat healthier meals more regularly and keep up with her schedule so that she meets all of her goals in terms of exercise and rest. They may also be taking over the driving for her, too, which can help to significantly reduce her stress levels.