What Symptoms Might Get Worse at the End of a Battle with CHF?

CHF, or congestive heart failure, is a misleading term. It sounds as if your elderly family member’s heart no longer works at all. What it really means, though, is that your senior’s heart isn’t working as well as it should be. This is a progressive illness that eventually causes your senior’s heart to become weaker and weaker, eventually becoming unable to function at all.

Exhaustion

It takes a lot of energy to keep a human body running on a good day. But when your elderly family member is dealing with congestive heart failure and possibly other health issues, she may not be able to manage her energy levels as well as she has in the past. She’s likely feeling extremely exhausted, even when she’s not doing much at all to exert herself. Her body is fighting hard just to be awake.

Breathing Issues

The lungs aren’t technically part of the cardiovascular system, but they do have an important role to play in oxygenating your senior’s blood as it passes through her lungs. If your senior’s heart is having trouble circulating blood throughout her body, that’s going to create a slowdown in other parts of her body, including her lungs. She may find that she’s having trouble breathing or that she feels consistently short of breath.

Swelling in the Extremities

Edema, or swelling in the extremities, is a big problem for people with congestive heart failure. Your elderly family member’s heart may still be circulating blood, but it’s difficult to keep up the pressure needed to move blood and other fluids the farther away from the heart they are. That means your senior’s feet may be swollen more often. Her doctor might even recommend compression socks and propping her feet in order to help with this symptom.

Being Able to Manage Pain Levels

Your senior may also experience pain. Often edema, especially when it’s severe, is painful but there are other kinds of pain she might experience. She may experience chest pains that can be frightening. There may also be other types of pain, such as arthritis or pain from old injuries that’s becoming worse. Because of congestive heart failure, your senior may not be able to use certain medications or therapies to treat those pains.

Your elderly family member may be at a point in her battle with CHF that she no longer wants to use invasive treatments but wants to be as comfortable as she can be in the time that she has left. That’s something that hospice elder care providers can help her to do.

IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING HOSPICE ELDER CARE IN ROCKLIN, CA, FOR AN AGING LOVED ONE, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT PIC COMFORT CARE TODAY. CALL (530) 885-9948.

Shaun Clinkinbeard
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