According to the American Heart Association, the number of adults in the United States with heart failure rose by 800,000 over the last five years. About 10 percent of the 5.7 million people in the country currently living with heart failure in its end stages. Heart failure also tends to occurs at equal rates in men and women. If you have a family member who is suffering from end stage heart failure, you may be concerned about how to make sure that he or she is as comfortable possible. Hospice care can provide what your loved will need as his or her deals with the end stages of heart failure.
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THE END STAGE OF HEART FAILURE: WHAT TO EXPECT
The life expectancy of someone suffering from end stage heart failure is extremely low, which is why it is necessary to speak with your loved one about what kind of care he or she wants to receive. In the final stages of heart failure, the symptoms your loved one may be exhibiting may be debilitating and may require a type of care that focuses on comfort as his or her condition progresses.
Signs and Symptoms of End Stage Heart Failure
There are many symptoms of end stage heart failure. This may include:
- Excess retention of fluids
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic fatigue
- Extremely high fever
- Swelling in the body, particularly the abdomen and legs
- Abnormal heart rate
Physical indications that death may be near may include:
- Increased periods of sleeping
- Skin that is cool to the touch
- Extreme difficulty with breathing
- Poor kidney function or kidney failure
Management of End Stage Cardiac Failure
Palliative care can be used for anyone who is in the advanced stages of an illness, including end stage heart failure. While it does not suspend any treatment of the illness, it does help an individual improve his or her quality of life by focusing on finding relief from the symptoms and stress caused by the illness. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other health care specialists who work together with a patient’s primary physician to give an ailing loved one the support services he or she requires.
Related: How to Say Goodbye When Your Loved One’s Time Is Near
How to Get Palliative Care
In order to get palliative care for your loved one from a home hospice care provider, it will be necessary to obtain a referral from his or her primary physician. The physician may inquire about know which treatments your loved one may or may not want and then will refer your loved one to local providers that offer the specified services.
Typical palliative care services offered from home hospice care providers may include:
- Medical care to alleviate a patient’s symptoms manage symptoms
- Provide spiritual and emotional support for a patient and his or her family
- Offer assistance with practical matters, such as insurance
Having to make plans regarding the end-of-life care for you loved may be difficult. However, keeping in mind what his or her wishes are regarding the end of his or her life can help you make the right decisions.