A guide to health care for families and carers
Heart failure is a common and disabling condition in older people. Good quality health care can ease symptoms and improve outcomes. This guide will help you identify continuing healthcare priorities.
Heart failure is more common amongst older people. Fortunately, with early treatment, most of those affected can still enjoy a good quality of life. There are many causes of heart failure. In older people, it usually relates to problems with the left heart ventricle.
The main symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, swollen ankles and feet or lower back, feeling unusually tired or weak. Swelling occurs when fluid builds up in the body. The tiredness and breathlessness relate to a shortage of circulating oxygen.
This checklist is designed to help you plan care, it is not a substitute for medical advice - always seek professional help. It focuses on heart failure related to problems on the left side of the heart. Remember, healthcare professionals will not share information about a patient unless they have been given permission to do so.