Many people do not  know the eight ways hospice improves quality of life for congestive heart failure (CHF). Here are some answers to the most common questions and signs that it may be time for extra support from hospice.

More than 5 million Americans live with CHF. CHF is a distressing and frightening disease, and as CHF progresses, it becomes hard to manage alone. Yet, despite hospice’s ability to greatly improve quality of life, control symptoms, reduce hospitalizations and ease the burdens of CHF, many people are unaware of the benefits of hospice care. Here are some commonly asked questions about CHF and eight ways hospice can help.

How Does Hospice Improve Quality of Life for People with CHF?

  1. Hospice care helps avoid episodes of crisis by providing optimal symptom prevention (as opposed to crisis management).
  2. The expert level of care hospice provides helps prevent hospital stays and ER visits.
  3. As experts in CHF, hospice staff are able to help reduce and manage the symptoms of CHF, including shortness of breath, fluid retention, fatigue and sleep disorders.
  4. Patients and family caregivers have access to a Registered Nurse 24/7.
  5. With hospice care, patients receive the full support of Roze Room’s interdisciplinary team including our Medical Director, nurses, CHHAs (certified home health aides), social workers and chaplains/spiritual counselors.
  6. Patients and family caregivers feel more empowered through the education hospice provides about coping with distressing symptoms of congestive heart failure, such as stress, confusion and anxiety.
  7. Family caregivers gain an extra layer of support from Roze Room’s certified home health aides, who assist with bathing, grooming, changing bedding, dressing and feeding.
  8. Roze Room chaplains provide spiritual support, comfort and guidance.

What CHF Symptoms Can Hospice Help Control?

Heart disease patients require specialized care. Symptoms can be distressing and overwhelming for family caregivers as they try to navigate this frightening disease. Roze Room’s expert care helps with prevention and management of cardiac symptoms. Our specialized teams of nurses are uniquely trained in the management of cardiac disease and symptoms related to CHF. In collaboration with the patient’s physician, Roze Room develops plans of care unique to each patient that focus on relieving congestive heart failure symptoms, including fluid accumulation, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, anxiety, pain, and depression.

How Does Hospice Help With the Emotional Toll of CHF?

Like most serious illnesses, CHF can have a huge emotional impact on both the patient and the patient’s  family. Emotional issues can include depression, anger, fear, hopelessness and uncertainty. One of the little-known facts about hospice care is that hospice not only cares for the body but the mind and spirit as well. This makes hospice unique. It is not singularly focused care but patient-and family-focused care. Hospice empowers patients and their families to better navigate the emotional turmoil of CHF. Roze Room counselors, chaplains and social workers provide understanding, resources, education, comfort and support. Our team helps both you and your loved one learn to understand the emotions surrounding illness, provides guidance on how to cope and helps find a path forward in your new reality.

When Should I Consider Hospice Care for CHF?

It is common for family members to worry that they may be giving up on their loved one by considering hospice care. But hospice is not about giving up. It is about focusing on comfort and quality of life. Hospice often becomes a choice when a loved one is seeking relief from frequent emergency room visits or physically or emotionally tired of challenging treatments that have no positive impact on life expectancy or quality for CHF patients. It is important to realize hospice is not just for the last days of life. In fact, hospice works best when chosen early, allowing you and your loved one to benefit from the extra layer of care and expert symptom support hospice brings. So how do you know when it is time for hospice? If you are a caregiver, here are some examples of the signs and symptoms of CHF that indicate your loved one may benefit from Roze Room care.

– Are you making more visits to the ER, or is your loved one being hospitalized more often?

– Are you calling your loved one’s doctor more often?

– Does your loved one have more frequent respiratory infections?

– Is he or she less active and sleeping more?

– Is your loved one having swelling in the legs or ankles?

– Is your loved one more depressed, anxious or stressed?

– Is your loved one’s ability to participate in activities decreasing, or is he or she less mobile?

– Does your loved one need more of your support?

– Are you feeling more overwhelmed in caring for your loved one?

If you are a family caregiver and have questions about the management of CHF and how to improve peace of mind and quality of life, Roze Room can help. Learn more about how we can offer an extra layer of support to those living with advanced CHF here.