Heart Failure Awareness Week 2023 took place February 12-18, 2023. A lot happened during the week, and in case you may have missed something, we've compiled a list of five key takeaways for you to quickly go through. View the full highlights here.
Focus on FUNCTION over FAILURE!
While the term “heart failure” might imply that the heart is no longer working and there is no hope for recovery, this is not entirely true. All the steps you take to improve your diet, get active, and follow your medication regimen affects your heart's ability to function, so shift the mindset towards function. Learn more about Function Not Failure, including what partner organizations think of the phrase, and see firsthand what going from failure to function looked like for Denise Redeker, CEO and Founder of Heartfelt Help Foundation, in her Patient Perspectives video here.
Shared Decision-Making and Patient-Provider Relationships
Doctor's visits, and even the instructions they provide can be intimidating. Follow your medication regimen and your healthcare providers' orders, but be sure to ask questions, come prepared to appointments, be honest about your diet/activity levels, share all side effects, and stay in tune with your own health and progress. Open honesty can build a stronger foundation of trust between you and your healthcare providers. Building these strong relationships with every member of your healthcare team can allow you to have productive, healthy conversations about your overall care.
Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM)
Have you heard of PPCM? It's one to know about if you or someone you know and love is pregnant or may be thinking of becoming pregnant. It affects approximately 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 4,000 pregnant women in the US. Many recover from PPCM, but it's something to keep in mind. Listen back on our Instagram Live Discussion with patient advocate and Chair of the HFSA Patient Committee Brittany Clayborne, Psy.D., and one of her doctors Jenny Thibodeau, MD, MSCS, as they discuss her experience with this form of heart failure. Also, learn what partner organizations had to say about PPCM.
Genetics and Heart Failure
Genetics can play a role in heart failure, so make sure to take note of your family's history. If you have a genetic form of heart failure, make sure you encourage your family members to get checked. Learn more about the Different Types of Heart Failure and Diagnosis and when someone should be concerned if a family member has been diagnosed.
The Importance of Sharing Your Story
We asked all of you to share your patient experiences using #MyHFStory2023, but do you know why? As we learned from the new episode of the Heart Failure Beat Healthy Living Podcast: What's New in HF Care?, the more insight providers have about the struggles and hopes patients have, the better care can be across the industry as a whole. Additionally, patients like Shamieka Thomas who shared her story did so to inspire others - helping them understand that "living with heart failure is not a death sentence." Be sure to continue to share your story throughout the rest of the year with us on Facebook and Instagram using #MyHFStory2023!
Follow HSFA on Social Media
Don't miss a beat of Heart Failure Awareness Week news, activities, and resources! Follow HFSA on social media:
- Instagram - patient and caregiver focused content - @HeartFailureSociety
- Facebook - patient and caregiver focused content - Heart Failure Society of America
- Twitter - provider focused content with some references to patient and caregiver content - @HFSA
- LinkedIn - provider focused content - Heart Failure Society of America