What is the prognosis associated with heart failure?

Although heart failure is a serious disease, with appropriate medications many people live long and happy lives.

As with any lasting illness that worsens over time, it is wise to plan ahead.

There are several important steps you can take that can give you and your family peace of mind later on. For example, you can complete an advance directive. This document outlines your preferences for health care in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes. You should also designate a health care proxy to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself.

It is also a good idea to talk to both your provider about what you can expect at different stages of your illness.

If you reach a point where your symptoms become hard to manage and you have frequent bouts of hospitalization, you may also want to speak with a palliative care specialist to discuss options for end-of-life care.