Friends and family can often provide much-needed support.
Managing heart failure isn't always easy. Physically, many people with heart failure often can't handle all the tasks they once could. They also have to change their lives – eating differently, remembering medications, paying closer attention to their bodies and reducing stress. These changes can be hard because they often require breaking long-held habits.
But the changes are usually easier to make when loved ones provide much-needed support and care. If you live with or are close to someone who has heart failure, you're likely to have the greatest impact on their success by following instructions from the healthcare team.
Being a caregiver has its own challenges
Being a caregiver for someone with heart failure requires a long-term commitment of time and energy.
As a caregiver, you need a plan and you need support. You're not alone. We've provided a guide to get you started, and many support groups are online and in your community. Ask the healthcare professionals involved in the patient's care for contact numbers and help in giving care. And, most importantly, remember that you need to take care of yourself. With proper planning and support, caregiving can be very rewarding.
Rita Owens, mother of musician and actress Queen Latifah, is living with heart failure. Inspired by her mom, Queen Latifah says that keeping a positive attitude and always being supportive are key to helping a loved one manage heart failure. She also has advice for caregivers: Take care for your health as well.
Find tips, tools and resources for looking after yourself while looking after your loved one.