Cardiovascular diseases take over 17 million lives a year, making it the number one cause of death globally. Getting diagnosed with coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, or other conditions may be daunting and scary.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is no longer able to pump enough blood throughout the body. Heart disease can be caused by hypertension, congenital heart disease, abnormal heart rhythm, and excessive alcohol or recreational drug use. While chronic heart diseases are long-term conditions, acute heart diseases can trigger spontaneous heart failure in an unsuspecting patient.
If a loved one has been diagnosed with heart disease, it is important to note the inevitable signs of the approaching end of life. This way, you can arrange for proper medical intervention and assistance through hospice care.
Here are some common signs of limited expectancy due to heart failure:
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of heart failure. This is defined as the feeling of extreme tiredness even from minimal exertions, and it is something that cannot be relieved by resting. This means that the heart cannot keep up with the patient’s limited activities.
Breathlessness is a common symptom that is caused by fluid buildup in the patient’s lungs. Breathing difficulties can also come from a developing chest infection. Respiratory problems are caused by the decreased function of the heart.
When experiencing this, sitting upright and increasing ventilation through an open window or a fan can bring comfort. Oral hygiene can also help to avoid dryness of the mouth in the event of breathlessness.
Peripheral edema is the buildup of fluid, mainly in the ankles or lower legs. Edema can also occur in other areas of the body. This causes swelling and puffing due to the disruption of the usual balance of fluids in the cells. In the event of pain and sudden onset of peripheral edema, the patient should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Home Health and Hospice for Patients with Heart Disease
Hospice care is given to patients with long-term illnesses and only have less than six months to live. Even though it is impossible to tell how long a patient may still live, worsening physical symptoms are sufficient signs to seriously think about availing hospice services.
Hospice care services help heart disease patients live a comfortable life even in their twilight days. It is the best choice for patients, with the family’s understanding that treatment can no longer lengthen their life significantly.
Opting for hospice care sooner than later is important because of the help it provides for the patient. If you suspect your loved one is ready for hospice, immediately talk to your doctor and request a hospice evaluation.
There is no denying that being diagnosed with a heart disease, whether chronic or acute, can have a serious impact on people. It truly is life-changing not just to the person with the disease but also to their family. Heart disease symptoms can fluctuate drastically, and it is important to spot a patient’s worsening condition. When patients are entrusted to hospice care, they will get the support and comfort they need for the rest of their days.
We at Bridge Home Health & Hospice provide licensed clinical support and eldery care in California, such as nursing, therapy, and more. We treat each patient as if they are family by giving them individualized care plans based on their medical, physical, and emotional needs. Contact us about our services today!