Helping with personal care and practical issues

Having a partner or relative diagnosed with heart failure can be a confusing time for you and those who are close to you. Doctors or nurses may ask your partner or relative to modify their lifestyle and habits by:

  • undergoing examinations, treatment and taking many different medicines
  • paying closer attention to their body
  • stopping smoking
  • changing their diet
  • adapting their activities, such as taking regular exercise, resting more and trying to reduce stress.

These types of changes can be hard and overwhelming because they often require breaking long-held habits and thinking about many different things at once. However, this can be made easier with the help and support of family and friends. As a caregiver, you will play a key role in this and are likely to have the greatest impact on their success in following their new treatment and lifestyle plan. However, you may also be required to make changes to your own lifestyle and habits. By helping to support your partner or relative, you may find you have less time for your usual activities, such as your job, spending time with your children or grandchildren and socialising.

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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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