Lending emotional support

In addition to giving your partner or relative practical support in managing their heart failure, providing emotional support is also extremely important as they will be going through many different and challenging feelings. As a caregiver, you may provide emotional support by:

  • Reassuring your partner or relative that change takes time. It’s natural for people to have trouble changing life-long habits. Your partner or relative will appreciate it if you try to listen to their concerns and stay positive, even if they don’t completely follow the doctor’s recommendations immediately. Offer encouragement and praise for any good new habits and progress, and don’t be judgemental when your partner or relative occasionally slips into old habits. Be supportive to help them get back on track again.
  • Suggesting that your partner or relative join a support group for people with heart failure, where they can get support from people in a similar situation. You might like to go to the group with them, but the experience is likely to be more beneficial if it’s their decision to go.

Understanding that there may initially be some loss of physical intimacy between you as things settle down. The diagnosis of heart failure often means stopping or limiting sexual activity until the condition is under control.

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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.

heartfailurematters.org is a European Society of Cardiology website

The heartfailurematters.org 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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