Heart Failure Awareness Week
4 to 10 October 2021

Why Creating Awareness about Heart Failure is so Important.

 

The Heart Failure Patient Council established by Global Heart Hub is an alliance of patient organisations from across the globe, working with heart failure patients and their carers. The Heart Failure Patient Council is united in the view that heart failure is poorly recognised and not well understood by both the general public and healthcare professionals.

There is global consensus that:

  • The early signs and symptoms of heart failure are often dismissed as normal signs of ageing and thus overlooked as early presentation of the disease.

  • There are significant gaps in access to diagnostics in primary care, which result in inequities and delays in diagnosis. Heart failure diagnoses are frequently made late and often the patient has developed acute disease.

  • There is considerable variation and inequity of access to international best practice and specialist care, including access to heart failure nurse specialists (both in hospital and in the community).

  • Failure and delays in recognising and treating heart failure appropriately is contributing to high hospital admission and re-admission rates, with  consequential economic burden on healthcare systems and huge impact on patients and carers.

Know The Symptoms of Heart Failure

 

Heart failure can affect different people in different ways. Symptoms can come on suddenly and be initially severe (acute heart failure) or they can appear over time and gradually get worse (chronic heart failure). If you have heart failure, you may have one, or a combination, of these symptoms.

 

The more common symptoms of heart disease are:

  • Coughing/wheezing

  • Extreme tiredness or no energy

  • Loss of appetite

  • More frequent urination, especially at night

  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations

  • Shortness of breath

  • Shortness of breath, even when lying down

  • Swelling in the ankles/feet/stomach

  • Weight gain over a short period of time (>2kg over 2 days)

By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have one or more of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, you should visit your GP and ask the question “Could I have heart failure?”.

Don't Let Heart Failure Stop You

Heart failure is a serious chronic condition, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living. 26 million people worldwide are living with heart failure and over 100,000 of them are Australians. Let’s focus on living, because even with heart failure, you can still be you. Don’t let heart failure stop you. #HeartFailureAwareness

If you have experienced a heart event or care for someone who has, Heart Support Australia is there for you to help you stay connected with a peer support network providing information, support and encouragement.

 

Heart Support Australia facilitates peer support groups in locations across the nation, and for those in rural, regional or pandemic lockdown areas, we have recently introduced a monthly online peer support group via Zoom to help you stay connected.

 

Copy and paste this link to your calendar and click to join us on the day: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83772209479

 

The next online support group is being held on:

Tuesday, 12 October

From 6pm to 7pm (AEDT)

Having one heart attack or other cardiac event increases your risk of having another. Your mental health, social interactions with people, and participation in activities play a huge role in your recovery and improving your quality of life. It is important to avoid isolation and make sure you are connecting with family, friends and support groups with your peers. Our mission is to facilitate the transition of cardiac patients from hospital to home, for as long as is needed, by providing the physical, psychological, and social support to help reduce the risk of a secondary cardiac event.

Call us on 02 6253 0097 or send an email to office@heartnet.org.au for further information or to join a peer support group near you.