Congestive heart failure is frightening indeed! One thing elderly caregivers need to realize is that a diagnosis of congestive heart failure does not mean that the nearly six million Americans that have this diagnosis have hearts that have stopped working altogether. In fact, there would not be the six million left to talk about!
The diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure does mean that approximately 670,000 people annually have a heart that is pumping weaker than it normally would. The blood flow in the person’s heart and body is not only slower, but the blood pressure then builds in the heart as well. This means that the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen and nutrients throughout the body in order to meet its needs.
The result is that the chambers of the heart must stretch, thus holding more blood that is required to pump throughout the body. This blood then becomes stiff and thickened.
While the blood can then continue to move, the heart muscle walls will eventually weaken and not be able to pump as efficiently as they should. If this is the resulting factor, then the kidneys could very well respond in kind and cause the body to retain water/fluid and salt.
This water/fluid tends to begin building. It begins in the extremities; the arms, legs, ankles and feet. Then the lungs and other organs. The body becomes congested, thus congestive heart failure!
This is only the beginning of the learning process about Congestive Heart Failure. The more you know, the more you will be able to help your clients, thus showing them that With Age Comes Respect.