U Thrive Portal

The Connection Between Congestive Heart Failure and Falling Down

The Connection Between Congestive Heart Failure and Falling Down
Search Blog...
Contact Us

What’s the link between congestive heart failure and falling? People with the condition are at a higher risk of falling for several reasons.

The Connection Between Congestive Heart Failure and Falling Down

If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, you might be surprised to learn you also have a higher risk of falling. Heart failure is a medical condition that occurs when your heart isn’t pumping blood efficiently. When this happens, it can limit the amount of blood, oxygen and nutrients getting to organs and tissues throughout the body.

There are a few different reasons why having heart failure can increase a person’s risk of falling.

  • Many people with heart failure are older: One in four adults ages 65 and older fall in any given year. 
  • Having heart failure means that the heart doesn’t pump blood adequately, which can cause issues with blood flow in your legs and dizziness, both potential causes of falls.
  • The medications used to treat heart failure can also increase your risk of falling. Certain medications can cause blurry vision, low blood pressure, confusion or dizziness.
  • Diuretics, which are frequently prescribed for people with heart health issues, can contribute to falls in another way: They make you need to urinate more frequently and sometimes quite urgently. When you rush to get to the bathroom, trips and falls become more common.

People who have heart failure are 13% more likely to fall than those without a heart health issue. The fall risk is even higher if you have heart failure and an irregular heartbeat.

What You Can Do to Lower Your Fall Risk

You can’t change your diagnosis, but you can limit your risk of falling by taking a few precautionary steps. Start by talking with your physician about medications that could make you more likely to fall and possible alternatives.

Once you’ve done that, you can lower your fall risk with these steps:

  • Stay physically active. Exercise can help protect your heart, ease heart failure symptoms, and it will also help lessen your risk of falling. Get a good blend of workouts, including aerobic activity that gets your heart pumping, strength training and balance exercises.
  • Prioritize getting enough sleep. Experts recommend that most adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Older adults, though, may be OK with seven or eight hours.
  • Clear your path. Most homes contain many different fall hazards. Take a few minutes to fall-proof your house. Make sure that carpets and rugs are firmly adhered to the floor using no-slip strips, clear away any clutter on the floor and keep electrical cords away from walking paths. You should also be sure that all areas of your home, including the porch, are well-lit and that both sides of all stairs have railings.
  • Use a helper when you need one. If you have any issues with your mobility or experience frequent bouts of dizziness, using an assistive device, such as a walker or cane, may be helpful. Using a device can help you stay on your feet.

If you fall at any time, let a medical provider know. While many older adults fall, fewer than half tell their physician. Talking with your physician about what happened can help you take steps to make it less likely to happen again.

0 Comment(s) so far | Skip to comment form

Address Line 1:
Address Line 2: