How does heart failure affect quality of life and lifestyle?

With the right care and treatment plan, heart failure may limit your activities, but many adults still enjoy life. How well you feel depends on how well your heart muscle is working, your symptoms and how well you respond to and follow your treatment plan. This includes caring for yourself (taking medications, being active, following a low-sodium diet, keeping track of and telling your healthcare provider about symptoms that are new or get worse) and living a healthy lifestyle (regular follow-up visits with your healthcare provider, yearly flu shot).

Because heart failure is a chronic long-term illness, talk to your doctor and your family about your preferences for medical care. You can complete an advance directive or living will to let everyone involved in your care know your desires. A living will details the treatments you do or don’t want to prolong your life. It is a good idea to prepare a living will while you are well in case you aren’t able to make these decisions at a later time.

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