Owners' Blog

Why Should a Senior with Congestive Heart Failure Weigh Themselves Daily?

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

If your senior is living with congestive heart failure, they have received a variety of recommendations and lifestyle guidelines meant to help them manage their condition and live as healthily as possible as they age in place. One of them is likely to monitor their weight by weighing themselves daily, or even multiple times daily. When it comes to caring for a senior with congestive heart failure, monitoring their weight carefully is a very important part of making sure that they are handling their condition effectively, and that their care and treatment approach is still working properly. This allows you to stay vigilant of their care and let their doctor know if anything changes that might require additional attention.

The purpose of regular weight monitoring through daily weigh-ins is to detect when your parent might be experiencing excessive fluid retention. In congestive heart failure, the heart has weakened to the point that it is no longer able to pump blood efficiently throughout the body. This also means that it cannot properly process other fluids throughout the body. This can lead to serious swelling throughout the legs, feet, and ankles referred to as edema. It can also put additional strain on the heart, forcing it to work harder and further weakening it. When a person with congestive heart failure experiences excess fluid retention throughout their body, it can be an indication that their heart failure has gotten worse and that they need further treatment or management to remain healthy and avoid other complications.

To ensure accuracy of these regular weigh-ins, it is important that your aging parent is weighed at the same time each day, on the same scale, and in the same location. They should wear the same type of clothing and be sure that they have not had anything to eat or drink soon before. Talk to their doctor about what you should look for in terms of weight gain so that you can alert them if your parent gains an excessive amount of weight over a short period of time.

If your aging parent has been dealing with congestive heart failure or their condition has worsened to the point at which you do not feel as though you are able to handle their needs properly, now may be the ideal time for you to start home care for them. An in-home care provider can create a course of management and care that is right for their individual needs while also supporting a lifestyle that is active, engaged, and fulfilling for them. This can include helping them to understand their condition and how it has impacted their health and quality of life, as well as the recommendations that their doctor has given them to manage their condition properly and stay as healthy as possible as they age in place. When it comes to compliance with guidelines such as monitoring their weight through daily weigh-ins, this care provider can help your parent integrate weighing into their routine and understand what any changes might mean. This helps to empower your parent to take proper care of themselves and keeps you up-to-date on their condition so that you can get them the care that they need throughout their experience with the disease.

Source
https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/docs/fs_heart_failure.pdf
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/checking-your-weight-when-you-have-heart-failure

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Johns Creek, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.