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The Effects of Congestive Heart Failure

The cardiovascular system of the body is made up of the heart and its connecting blood vessels, such as arteries and veins. This system carries oxygen and nutrients to all of the body’s tissues and organs. It removes wastes as well. You may care for residents who have a serious condition called congestive heart failure that has affected their cardiovascular system.

Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart is too weak to pump blood efficiently. This condition can develop from many risk factors, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, heart surgery, and smoking. Residents with congestive heart failure often have swelling in their hands, legs, feet, and face because of fluid retention.

Residents with this condition may have a hard time breathing normally. These residents may become anxious and short of breath if they are lying down, so help them to sit propped up with pillows. They may also need their legs propped up to reduce the swelling in their legs and feet. Encourage small periods of light exercise throughout the day so they do not become too tired.

These residents need extra attention to mouth care due to a dry mouth. They may also require frequent toilet visits due to certain medications they may be taking. These residents may need to be weighed more often than other residents because of possible fluid retention.

Encourage residents with congestive heart failure to participate in individual hobbies and group activities to reduce stress. They should also try to reduce salt in their diet and take all prescribed medicine.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners