Support Network Just as a patient with heart failure needs adequate financial resources to successfully manage the disease, a strong support network is necessary for the management of heart failure. A support network can consist of family, friends, church members, or co-workers. Successful management of heart failure requires life adjustments in nearly every aspect: dietary, activity, social, and myriad others. A patient with a strong support network around them will find these transitions much easier to make (American Heart Association, 2017c). The patient may need assistance with transportation, activities of daily living, shopping, and filling prescriptions. The necessary changes accompanying heart failure will most likely create a tremendous amount of spiritual and emotional anxiety. There will be times during the process of the disease that the patient will need people who love and care for them to assist and support in every aspect of their life. A successful heart failure patient is one surrounded by a support network that will lift them when needed and help traverse the challenges of the disease. Insurance The average annual per-patient expense of heart failure is $5344.92 (Centers for Disease Control, 2019a). Patients lacking medical insurance are responsible for these expenses out-of- pocket. A patient who successfully manages heart failure will have adequate health insurance to 14
Left-Sided Heart Failure Overview cover prescriptions, provider appointments, medical devices, and hospitalizations. Health insurance provides the patient with a safety net in the event of exacerbation and allows the patient to continually follow up with providers as needed to manage their care. Patients who have health insurance have a higher quality of life with fewer exacerbations, making access to affordable health insurance a necessity for successfully managed care (American Heart Association, 2017c). Unmanaged Disease Factors A patient successfully managing heart failure will show strength in the face of challenges and will be surrounded by a support network that upholds them and makes their burdens light. The successful patient will have financial resources available to address challenges and will have good health insurance to ensure they can work closely with their healthcare providers and have the necessary medications and medical supplies to care for their disease process. If this is the picture of success in the face of heart failure, then the picture of unmanaged heart failure is one of isolation, poverty, and constant illness. A patient unable to manage heart failure creates the following ‘picture’: The patient does not have a stable support network around them, they do not have adequate insurance, and they do not have the financial means to meet their needs. This patient is often isolated, with no support to assist them with transportation, activities of daily living, or in managing other daily tasks that arise. The patient is challenged with adequate transportation for doctor’s appointments or to do shopping. The patient does not have the money to pay for medications or physicians and often
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- Summer '16