Family and caregiver information

Caregivers of people with heart failure are usually spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings, parents, or family friends. Sometimes a carer may be provided by the national health system or employed privately. Being a caregiver for someone with a chronic medical condition such as heart failure can be both physically exhausting and emotionally draining at times.

You may find yourself pulled in many directions as you provide practical help to your partner or relative, as well as experiencing a range of mixed emotions yourself. Becoming a caregiver requires a long-term commitment of time and energy, but with a clear plan and good support it can also be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

In this section, we look at the role of a caregiver and the special challenges that you face in caring for your partner or relative, whilst providing you with some ideas and helpful tips to make your role easier. You can adapt any suggestions to your own circumstances and preferences, as your needs and experiences are unique to you.

Parallel hearts – Ever wondered what it’s like to live with heart failure?

Video credit: Pumping Marvellous Foundation

Click on any of the links to the left to learn more.

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.

Back to top