As your heart failure gets worse, you may want to think about Reference palliative care Opens New Window. It's a kind of care for people who have illnesses that don't go away and often get worse over time. It's different than care to cure your illness. But some people combine both types of care.
- May improve your quality of life—not just in your body, but also in your mind and spirit.
- May help you manage symptoms or side effects from treatment.
- Can help you cope with your feelings about living with a long-term illness.
- Can help you make plans around your medical care.
- Can help your family better understand your illness and how to support you.
If you are interested in palliative care, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to manage your care or refer you to a doctor who specializes in this type of care.
For more information, see the topic Reference Palliative Care.
Heart failure tends to get worse over time. So you need to decide what kind of care you want at the end of your life.
It can be hard to have talks with your doctor and family about the end of your life. But making these decisions now may bring you and your family peace of mind. Your family won't have to wonder what you want. And you can spend your time focusing on your relationships.
You will need to decide if you want life-support measures if your health gets very bad. An Reference advance directive Opens New Window is a legal document that tells doctors how to care for you at the end of your life. This care includes electronic devices that are used for heart failure, such as pacemakers. You also can say where you want to have care. And you can name someone who can make sure your wishes are followed.
- Reference Care at the End of Life
- Reference Writing an Advance Directive
- Reference Choosing a Health Care Agent
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
- Topic Overview
- Health Tools
- What Increases Your Risk
- When to Call a Doctor
- Exams and Tests
- Treatment Overview
- Living With Heart Failure
- Coping With Your Feelings
- Other Treatment
- End-of-Life Decisions
- Other Places To Get Help
- Related Information