The flu and pneumonia may seriously aggravate heart failure. Getting immunized against both can further protect you from becoming sick. For more information about immunization programs, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.
People with heart failure should not smoke as it causes further damage to the heart. Smoking is a major killer of people with heart disease. Quitting smoking is the most effective way that you can improve your health. Quitting smoking will also save you money and improve your sense of taste and smell, as well as increase the amount of exercise you can do.
Here are some useful websites to help you get started:
Decrease Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption can have many negative effects on the health of your heart. Therefore, decreasing or eliminating this can serve to be very beneficial for heart failure patients. It is also important to eliminate addictive or harmful drugs as these can also negatively impact your heart’s health.
Tips for Coping
Controlling the anxiety you may be feeling after being diagnosed with Heart Failure is very important to your overall well-being. There are many ways to control anxiety. Here are some suggestions:
Follow-up Care (See Doctors Regularly)
If your heart failure has been determined to be stable, you should be visiting the heart failure clinic every three to six months, or you may be asked to see your family doctor. Your doctor or nurse will tell you how often you should visit the clinic. During these visits certain procedures will be done, including:
If your heart failure has been determined to be unstable, you should be visiting the heart failure clinic daily or weekly. Your doctor or nurse will tell you how often is appropriate. During these visits certain procedures will be done, including:
The clinic’s main aim in seeing you frequently during this time is to ensure you don’t have to be admitted to hospital, and to help you function better at home.
Your clinic's 'telemanagement' program: Telemanagement means that should you need to call your clinic with any questions or concerns, feel free to do so at any time. A clinic nurse will be available to assist you.
Your clinic’s telephone support hotline number is: ____________________
Should you need to call after hours, the pager number is: ________________
Your clinic support group: Your HF clinic has started a support group to help you meet other patients and to learn more about your disease from health care experts.
The next support group meeting will be held: _______________________
The speaker will be: ______________________________________
She/he will be speaking about: ________________________________
We look forward to seeing you there!