Planning for the future

If you have already discussed your plans for the future with your family, you will need to discuss these plans with your doctor. However, if you have only just started thinking about this, you may find it helpful to read the section on planning for the end of life, so you are more informed when you talk to your family and doctor.

How do I prepare an advance care directive?
Your doctor/nurse or support group will be able to guide you when preparing your advance care directive.

How do I prepare a do-no-resusciate order?
The decision to have a do-not-resuscitate order is made by you or your family in consultation with your doctor. Your doctor will explain exactly what this order means and will make sure you are fully aware of the consequences before you make this decision.

Patients with an ICD may need to discuss this with their doctor.

What can I do now to prepare for the future?
There are many ways in which you can prepare for the future. Your doctor/nurse or support group will be able to give you information about living wills, do-not-resuscitate orders, advance care directives and financial planning. You should discuss the options with your family and doctor/nurse before making any decisions about your future care.

Who can I talk to about financial planning for the future?
If you have concerns about the costs of treatments or any potential loss of income, your doctor or nurse may be able to refer you to a social services department that can help with or advise on any financial issues.

ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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