Learning that you have heart failure can be overwhelming. You may wonder what this diagnosis means for your quality of life—and how long you can expect to live. If your loved one has been diagnosed, you may find yourself in the new role of “caregiver” and wonder what your future holds.

We do not yet have a cure for heart failure. But there are plenty of things you can do to improve your health. The best thing you can do for your heart failure is to follow your personalized treatment plan. The best medical advice in the world is useless if you don’t follow it. To live well with heart failure, you must take your medicines as directed, weigh yourself every day, watch for worrisome symptoms, eat healthfully, and exercise regularly.

You don’t have to do it alone. Family, friends, and professional or government services can all play a role. If you’re lucky, you have a caregiver in your corner too.

Finally, try to stay positive. Research shows that people who can prepare for the worst while hoping for the best are more resilient to the trials of heart failure than those with a negative attitude.

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