Receiving a diagnosis of heart failure can be difficult. While your heart muscle is still working, it is weakened and cannot meet the body’s needs for oxygen-rich blood. Your focus will be on doing what you can to strengthen the heart and to also reduce its workload, and on monitoring your heart health to look for warning signs of worsening heart failure.
You do not have to do this alone. You will have a heart failure care team made up of medical professionals who can help you with everything from direct treatment of the condition, to support for making heart-healthy lifestyle changes, to psychological/emotional support. Through your local hospital or other organizations, you can find an in-person or online heart failure support group that can connect you with people who share your experiences. Your Heart Failure Care Team can introduce you to some of the medical professionals who will be able to help you through this challenging time.
Don’t be embarrassed to share information about your heart failure diagnosis, prognosis and treatment with any loved ones or friends who are offering to help. They will be better able to support you, and their help can ease feelings of isolation. Enlist loved ones in finding creative ways to make lifestyle changes: fix low-sodium recipes together, or go on a walk together through the neighborhood (if advised by your treating physician).
You will have a care team of medical professionals who will treat and help you manage your heart failure. For more information about some of the professionals you can expect to be a part of your team, click here.