My 87 year old mother is in the very early stages of heart failure. She has a little bit of retention in her feet and gets winded when walking long distances; (example walking around the grocery store), but at rest she is fine. She lives with me, but she can still care for herself, and stays home alone all day when my husband and I are at work. The doctor was not much help in telling me what to expect in the future and basically just said "everybody is different." I just want to know, what are other people's experiences with heart failure? About how long will it be before she needs constant care? I can't retire until I am 66, and I just turned 63 today (happy birthday to me) I absolutely will not put her in a nursing home. I am an only child. My daughter sometimes stops in to check on her now, but she has kids of her own and it isn't like she could care for her everyday all day.

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My mom was diagnosed with CHF in 2011. She had slight swelling in her left ankle for years but the hip joint in her left leg needed replacement but it was deemed too dangerous by surgeons because of her overall condition. She developed dementia and entered an AL in November 2017.

After entering the AL facility she had her first episode of both ankles and legs swelling to the knees rather severely. I guess it was a result of her being more active and walking a lot more (with a Rollator) at the facility.
She was seen by her doctor who adjusted her medication (diuretic).

So the doctor told you the truth. I’ve known of elders who had CHF for 10-15 years. So watch for the symptoms and keep in touch with the doctor.
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I think it all depends on taking care of yourself. Keep your weight down. Eat well. Do what dr says. Light exercise. Watch salt intake. No drinking or smoking.
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DeeAnna, excellent and knowledgable advice, as always.
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Heart Failure depends on so many different variables that it acts differently in each person who has HF. There are different types of HF: Left-Sided HF, Right-sided HF, HF related to Pulmonary Hypertension, HF related to ????. So the doctor is correct when he said "everybody is different."

Doctors classify patients' heart failure according to the severity of their symptoms. The most commonly used classification system, the New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification1, places patients in one of four categories based on how much they are limited during physical activity. See website:

Other websites about heart failure are:

Some of the questions asked on are:

My Dad had heart failure related to Pulmonary Hypertension and he lived 3 years after he started using oxygen. I think that you will find some good information on the American Heart Association website:

Your Mother could easily live until she is 95 years old if her heart failure does not progress very fast or your Mother might need to go into a nursing home within the next 2 years. It all depends...

The main thing is that you take care of yourself and your husband along with your Mother and know that whatever time you have left with your Mother will be "Very Good Years". Make some wonderful memories with your Mother!

Happy 63rd Birthday to You! {{{Hugs}}} & ^^^Prayers^^^
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Happy birthday to you In this instance the doctor is right. HF can affect people differently. With management your mom could still live a decent life
When you get a chance you could Google HF to get more information.
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