Living with heart failure

Heart failure specialist nurses can help you with the challenge of heart failure

We know that being diagnosed with heart failure can be frightening for you and your family. It can raise all sorts of questions about what you can and can’t do and what your future is going to be like.

The best thing you can do is to learn how to manage your symptoms and keep your condition under control.

This will mean different things for different people, but should help you do many of the things you enjoy in life.

Keeping track of medications and progress

You are probably taking a combination of many different medications to treat your heart failure and we know it can be hard to keep track. Taking the right medication properly will help to control your symptoms so make sure you understand what your different medications do. You can order a pill box organiser from our online shop so you know which pills to take at what time.

It can also be helpful to keep a record of your experiences of heart failure, to keep track of useful information that you can tell your doctors during hospital, GP and heart failure clinic appointments. This includes things like your blood test results, daily weight and fluid intake.

Our heart failure personal record can help with this, allowing you to make notes about all of these details, and any other important information that your doctor might want to keep track of. You can download the interactive personal record to fill in on your computer, or to print if you would rather write down your notes.  

Making changes

You may find you need to make some changes in your life as a result of your heart failure – from getting some help with the housework to changing jobs. This can be unsettling, especially at first. 

Coming to terms with these changes will help you to feel more in control. But even though some activities you used to find easy may be a challenge at first, by setting realistic goals and making small steps you can and will get there.

Taking it slow

It's tempting to overstretch yourself and try to keep up with other people, but this can make you feel worse. While it can be hard to force yourself to rest, particularly if you are feeling well, in the long run it will mean that you are able to keep your condition and symptoms under control. Make your health your number one priority.

  • Hear from Charlotte who has adapted to a slower pace of life since her heart failure diagnosis.

Getting the support you need

Your family, friends and carers can be a great source of both practical and emotional support.

Talking to them about how you are feeling might be difficult, but they will want to understand. Being open and honest can help you all move forward.

If you're used to being the one who cares for those around you, it can be difficult to adjust to needing help yourself. Watch John and Nicola’s stories to see how they've adapted to the change.

Joining a Heart Support Group can be helpful. You'll meet people who've been through similar experiences and be able to share your experiences with them. Norman found hope and encouragement through his support group.

Your heart failure nurse can also be a great source of information and support.

You can also call our Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3311 or join our online community.

You can also find further information on the help and support available to you if you are facing severe illness.

Help us win the fight against heart failure

Support our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal and help our scientists end the suffering caused by heart failure.

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