When it comes to Congestive Heart Failure(CHF), self-efficacy is very beneficial and can have positive effects on confidence and the ability to manage symptoms. Unfortunately, since CHF is caused by damages to the heart over time, it can not be cured. The reasoning behind why this develops is due to other conditions that have deteriorated the heart such as obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use. However, CHF can be prevented by simply taking control of your health and changing unhealthy habits. Here are a few ways to prevent and treat congestive heart failure.
Smoking is a bad habit, an addiction that is both mental and physical. To prevent CHF and other illness, smoking should be eliminated from your lifestyle. To quit smoking can be a very difficult task, but with a combination of medicine, a change in personal habits, and emotional support can help you quit. According to the American Heart Association, “ Even exposure to secondhand smoke poses a serious health hazard. Nonsmokers are up to 30 percent more likely to develop heart disease or lung cancer from secondhand smoke exposure at home or work.” You can also consider making a plan to quit which can be found here.
Be Physically Active
Exercise is defined as an activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. In fact, the loss of strength and stamina due to aging is partly caused by an absence of or reduced physical activity. Based on the recommendations by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “more physical activity can help all people think, feel and sleep better and perform daily tasks more easily.” In addition, being physically active can help in managing your weight as well as reducing your chances of developing other health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol which can strain and damage your heart. You may want to think about the recommendation provided by the American Heart Association which can be found here.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Managing your diet and food choices is an important part of a healthy lifestyle as well as preventing CHF, especially for seniors. People over the age of 60 need fewer calories than those at a younger age. Uncontrolled weight gain at this age can cause the heart to work harder and increases the risk of heart disease and other health conditions. Here are a few foods to stay away from in order to prevent CHF:
- Fast-food burgers
- Deep-fried foods
- Diet soda
At Renaissance Home Health Care and Adult Day Services, we aim to decrease the need for hospitalization and improve the functionality of elderly adults with severe congestive heart failure. If you seek information about caring for a senior with congestive heart failure I highly recommend taking a look at our article about the Care and Management of Congestive Heart Failure in Seniors. Our home health care services also have a cost-effective advantage and a major impact on health values, for more information click here.