Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is the leading cause of hospitalization in seniors. Although CHF is a serious condition, its name makes it sound even worse than it is. In CHF, which is sometimes called Chronic Heart Failure, the heart has not failed completely, but it is weakened and cannot pump blood effectively.
CHF is not a death sentence, but it must be caught as early as possible, and treated effectively. A variety of medications are commonly prescribed for CHF, including beta-blockers, diuretics, and ACE inhibitors, but lifestyle changes are also important. In fact, faithfully enacting diet and lifestyle changes can improve — and even reverse — CHF.
What lifestyle changes make a difference? Stress management, eliminating tobacco and alcohol, restricting salt, being physically active, getting adequate sleep. No big surprises here. The real issue is not what changes to make, but how to make them, and how to make them stick.
According to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation programs improve both quality-of-life and clinical outcome in patients with CHF.
Cardiac rehabilitation programs, such as that offered by Tower Lodge Care Center, in Wall, NJ, includes a combination of carefully guided exercise, along with extensive support for therapeutic lifestyle changes. While it was once thought that exercise was unsafe for people with CHF, today we know this is not true. However, exercise must be carefully controlled and monitored by knowledgeable therapists, who communicate regularly with the patient’s doctors, in order to help — and not harm — the CHF patient.
While exercise is beneficial, it is not enough. Support in changing diet and lifestyle is also required. Unlearning the habits of a lifetime is not an easy matter. However, a team approach, incorporating physical therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, social workers, and other healthcare personnel, is proven to be the most effective way to help people with CHF lead a healthy, active life.
Call Tower Lodge Care Center at 732-681-1400 or by clicking here, to enroll in a cardiac rehabilitation program that will put you or your loved one back on the road to health.