Supporting loved ones with heart failure: Joining hands to care for a healthy heart
Article by Resident Doctor Le Thi Hoa - Cardiovascular Center - Vinmec Times City International Hospital
Heart failure has an increasingly high incidence and dangerous complications. Proper treatment and care of heart failure patients not only helps to reduce mortality but also improves quality of life.
1. Heart failure with proper treatment and care helps to improve its condition
According to current statistics in the world, there are about 26 million people with heart failure and this rate is increasing due to population aging, as well as effects from cardiovascular diseases. In Vietnam, although there are currently no official data, it is estimated that 320,000 to 1.6 million people (about 1-1.5% of the population) have heart failure and the 5-year mortality rate is up to 50%, which is high. more than cancer.
In recent decades, heart failure treatments and devices have improved dramatically, helping to reduce mortality and improve quality of life for patients with heart failure. However, these advances lead to complex medical protocols, posing a major challenge for patients in the process of treatment adherence. For example, requirements for daily medication management, symptom recognition and adherence to diet, exercise... These requirements are sometimes very complicated and relatively difficult for patients to strictly adhere to, especially for the characteristics of patients with heart failure (advanced age, limited motor function, cognitive decline...). Therefore, support from loved ones plays an important role in helping patients with heart failure return to a normal life and reduce the severity of heart failure episodes requiring hospitalization.
2. Join hands to care for heart failure patients to have a healthy heart
Here are a few simple steps that can make a big difference to your loved one during heart failure treatment:
2.1. Support for daily tasks Depending on the stage of heart failure, the activity level of the disease, the support of relatives for heart failure patients is different. People with heart failure can still perform daily tasks like everyone else. From office workers, teachers, housewives or farmers, depending on their tolerance level. However, people with heart failure should not do heavy and strenuous work such as climbing stairs, carrying heavy objects or traveling long distances. Therefore, finding the right levels for people with heart failure is very important, instead of cycling to work, let them take the bus. Creating opportunities for them to live on the first floor, instead of doing heavy work such as bridges and roads, it is really necessary to switch to other jobs like office workers.
2.2. Psychological and social support Psychological problems such as depression and anxiety are especially common in people with heart failure. The relationship between heart failure and patient psychology has a two-way effect. As worsening heart condition is associated with increased rates of depression, and depression increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Depression, anxiety manifest in heart failure patients are very diverse such as: feelings of restlessness, anxiety, boredom, hopelessness, helplessness, loss of hope in life, loss of interest in activities or things. common interests. These include having sex, difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, trouble sleeping, poor or persistent sleep, loss of self-interest, unwillingness to seek treatment, or even illness. has thoughts of death or wants to commit suicide. To help your loved one overcome fear and think more optimistically, you can try the following ways:
Have a good chat and ask often: The patient will easily fall into feelings of loneliness and negative thoughts. extreme when alone. Therefore, family members should always be by their side, talking, sharing, and encouraging the patient to change their thinking and form a positive lifestyle. Take care of your loved one's sleep: A deep sleep is a natural stress reliever, but it is very difficult for people with heart failure, because shortness of breath often occurs at night or when lying down. You should prepare a well-ventilated bedroom, remind your loved ones to sleep on time and avoid eating too much before going to bed, can raise the pillow so that they can have a quality sleep. Create conditions for loved ones to do what they like: You should find out your loved one's hobbies such as listening to music, reading books, arranging flowers, playing chess, planting trees... Then you can arrange to buy tools. , gifts or even signing up for a loved one to join a club with similar interests. Especially when the symptoms do not improve, you need to take your loved one to see a psychologist for advice and timely intervention.
3. Improve and maintain self-care during heart failure
3.1. Treatment adherence Medications are important for patients with heart failure, helping to improve mortality, hospital admissions as well as quality of life. Patients with heart failure must take a variety of medications at different times of the day. Therefore, both patients and relatives must understand the indications, uses, and ways of taking each drug, help the patient remember to take the right dose, on time and monitor the side effects of the drug. Especially never quit smoking without consulting your doctor.
3.2. Building a suitable diet People with heart failure should eat a variety of foods to provide vitamins, micronutrients and nutrients. In addition, patients with heart failure tend to retain water, causing edema, so the diet should limit salt and water, should only drink less water than the patient's urine.
3.3. Exercise regime Daily exercise is extremely important for people with heart failure, because physical activity helps control weight, reducing the risk of blood clots. However, each person needs a different exercise regimen, suitable for their stage of disease and exercise status. You should practice moderate exercises such as walking, meditating, cycling.
In addition, heart failure patients should also give up bad habits in the past, should lose weight if overweight, quit smoking, pipe tobacco and limit alcohol consumption. In addition, patients also need to pay attention to follow the schedule of regular health check-ups to monitor the progress of the disease and maintain the most effective treatment regimen.
Heart Center - Vinmec Times City International General Hospital is one of the few specialized heart failure clinics built the earliest in Vietnam. The heart failure clinic in Vinmec has referenced the US and Singapore models, bringing hope of effective treatment, improving quality of life, and improving the risk of death for patients with heart failure.
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