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Heart Failure Education Hub

Get the support you need: Tools and resources to help you navigate heart failure.

The number one thing to do is keep track of your symptoms

It can be hard living with heart failure, but many people learn to manage their symptoms and live full lives.

People who build new habits report greater improvement and better emotional well-being. Things like eating better, tracking and managing symptoms, and exercising (as directed by your health care team), can all make a difference.

It might seem like a lot to take on, but our Heart Failure Program is here to help. Check out some of the resources below to help you get started: 

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Not sure what to track?

Heart Failure Daily Action Plan-Zone Chart


  • Weigh yourself.
  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Do activity as tolerated.
  • Maintain a low salt diet.
  • Drink fluids as directed by your doctor. 


This is where you want to be.

  • Your weight is stable. It’s not going up or down.
  • You can breathe easily.
  • You are sleeping well. You can lie flat without shortness of breath.
  • You can do your usual activities. 


Pay Attention. Check in with your Doctor.

  • You have new or increased shortness of breath.
  • You are dizzy, lightheaded or feel you may faint.
  • Sudden weight gain (2lbs or more in a day or 5lbs in a week).
  • Increased swelling in legs, ankles or feet.
  • You are so tired or weak you can’t do your usual activities.
  • You aren’t sleeping well, shortness of breath wakes you up, you need extra pillows. 

 What to do:

    • Primary care doctor
    • Cardiologist
  • Call both if not sure which one to call


This is an emergency!

  • You have severe trouble breathing.
  • You’re coughing up pink, frothy mucus.
  • You notice a new irregular or fast heartbeat.
  • You have symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain/pressure, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, lightheadedness or sudden weakness, pain/pressure in back/neck/jaw or upper belly, one or both shoulders/arms).

 What to do:

  •  CALL 911

Printable Daily Action Plan

Module Video Archives

HFP Module 1 What's Your Patient Type

What’ your patient type? Explore our specialized care approach for heart failure patients and its integration into the larger picture.

HFP Module 2 Understanding Heart Failure

Understanding Heart Failure: Bridging the Knowledge Gaps.

HFP Module 3 Medications

The Importance of Medications in Heart Failure Management: Why Taking Them Matters.

HFP Module 4 Foods & Fluids

Fueling Success: The Role of Foods and Fluids.

HFP Module 5 Self-Care & Following the Care Plan

Nurturing Self-Care and Care Plan Adherence: Embrace Your Worth.

HFP Module 6 Exercise & Activity

Exploring Exercise and Activity for a Healthy Heart.

HFP Module 7 Managing Emotions

Emotional Well-being: Mastering the Art of Riding Life's Waves.

HFP Module 8 Managing Other Chronic Conditions

Balancing Heart Failure with Other Chronic Conditions: A Comprehensive Approach

Heart Failure Resources

Downloadables and Interactive Resources

Topic Series Archive

Men's Heart Health

The video provides insights into how heart disease affects men differently than women, discussing gender-specific differences in development, symptoms, and risk factors. It covers topics such as stress management, emotional well-being, diet, exercise, and medications, aiming to empower men to take better control of their heart health.

Relaxation Techniques

Mastering techniques to manage stress and anxiety can empower you to regain control over your emotional well-being. Explore various strategies designed to alleviate stress and incorporate relaxation practices into your daily regimen for enhanced tranquility.

Guideline Directed Medical Therapy

Discover the significance of Guided Directed Medical Therapy (GDMT) and its potential to enhance heart function while mitigating the risk of hospitalization by alleviating symptoms associated with heart failure. Explore how embracing GDMT can contribute to improving your overall cardiac health and well-being.

Atrial Fibrillation

Discover the essentials of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), unraveling the irregular heart rhythm's causes, symptoms, and potential treatment options, providing a clear understanding of this common heart condition.

Medication Management Basics

Discover the essential medication management guide in this informative video, featuring the top 10 medication tips, expert-recommended questions to ask your healthcare providers, best practices for taking your medications, and handy tips for improving medication adherence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Heart failure is a progressive condition that happens when your heart has become too weak or stiff. This means it can't pump blood as well as it should, causing fluids to build up in other parts of your body, like your lungs, hands and feet. This may result in symptoms like shortness of breath, swelling, chest pain, fatigue, and sudden weight gain.

You may not notice these symptoms right away, but heart failure tends to get worse over time. The good news is early treatment may help relieve symptoms and stop or delay the condition from getting worse. Our heart failure program can help you understand what to look for in the future, so your symptoms don’t stop you from doing the things you love.

Watch this quick video to learn more about the symptoms of heart failure. 

Your doctor may diagnose heart failure based on your symptoms and a physical exam. But you will need tests, such as an echocardiogram, to find the cause and type of heart failure so that you can get the right treatment.

Your doctor will talk to you about the type of heart failure you may have and what stage you are in. No matter where you are in your heart failure diagnosis, finding out you have heart failure can be stressful. Knowing more about what it is, what to expect, and how to care for yourself or your loved one can help.

Watch this quick video from the American Heart Association (AHA) to see how heart failure is diagnosed 

There are four stages of Heart Failure, established by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, A, B, C, and D. Stage A is when you have a high risk of developing Heart Failure (the least serious). Stage D is the most serious. When a patient reaches Stage D, it's considered advanced Heart Failure.

In addition, there are two kinds of heart failure. If the left ventricle (lower left chamber of the heart) is not pushing blood out with enough force, it is called systolic heart failure — or heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (EF). If the chambers are stiff and do not relax and fill properly, it is called diastolic heart failure — or heart failure with preserved EF. Ejection fraction is the measurement of blood that is pumped out of your heart with each heartbeat.

Everyone is different. Your treatment plan will depend on factors like the stage of heart failure you are in. If you’re at high risk of developing heart failure, you can take preventive steps to reduce your risk.

Heart failure is usually treated with medicines, a heart-healthy lifestyle, and the steps you take to check your symptoms. Treatment may also include a heart device, such as a pacemaker. Treatment can slow the disease, help you feel better, and help keep you out of the hospital and may help you live longer. Take your medicines as prescribed, maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle, watch your symptoms, and work closely with your doctor.

Your treatment plan will likely include:

Regardless of your treatment approach, you should follow your heart failure team’s recommendations and make the necessary changes in your eating, exercise and lifestyle to give you the highest possible quality of life.

It may be hard to hear, but now might be a good time to think about the kind of support you want now and at the end of your life. This is called “advance care planning”. You and your doctor can decide together what treatments will offer more benefits than risks in your plan to care for yourself from now on.

Last Updated 4/24/2024