What are the signs of an elder who has stage 4 congestive heart failure?

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Hi Meggie,
Irregular heart beat is the most serious sign, though a doctor would have examine the patient to be sure where he or she is as far as the disease progression goes. Stage 4 is getting to a serious stage, so medical help is needed for monitoring, or at least for advice.
Take care,
I have been told that my 91 yr old mother had only six months to live, that was eight months ago. She has never exhibited swollen legs, only slightly and seems to have more problems with congestion in her lungs. However that said she has been doing quite well and her last hospital visit was mid February and this is the end of May. Her doctors have written the lasix prescription so I can give her an increased amount for weight gain and that seems to keep her symptoms under control. She is also on 2 liters of oxygen since coming home from the hospital in February and I think that might have made a big difference in keeping her out of the hospital. So that said I sometimes can see why doctors are hesitant to stage heart failure because a patient can show symptoms of stage IV and then back of to say stage III.
In most cases the patient will have an irregular heart rate, labored breathing, and swelling of the legs. They will most likely not be able to ambulate and will show signs of confusion. In many cases they may not be able to control their bodily functions.
My late father had a persistent upper back ache, and many tests could find nothing. Later I read that it can be associated with CHF. He also had a very difficult time breathing, and would get relief when IV diuretics were administered in hosp. There is so much hidden salt in everything, it's very hard to totally eliminate it, even when you're careful. Best of luck to you & your loved one. ♥
my mom's symptoms began with "pain" in her legs, shortness of breath, weight gain and a "feeling" she had of "something" not being quite right.
My dad had 20 % ejection fraction in 2009. He has just had another massive heart attack. After all this he is still hanging in there. His heart sounds muffled etc. The doctors said he is a miracle. I wonder how long one can go with such a weak heart his fraction now must be like 5%.
My mom,88years old also has CHF.and many urinary tract infections that seem to worsen her CHF. The first sign of trouble is wheezing and confusion. The doctor trusts me enough that I can give her extra Lasix If I see signs of trouble, but its a fine line between too much fluid and dehydration and I am always second guessing myself, but I know her symptoms better than her doctor, I am with her 24/7 and he knows that I am on top of things before they snowball into a hospital stay
Oops I meant "lasix" not "laxix". I forgot to say that my mother lives with me so she has 24/7 care. She has been doing so much better it amazes me that they wanted to recommend hospice for her a little over three months ago.

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