I am
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Heart failure resources for patients

Educate your patients on everything they need to know about heart failure and managing their condition

Key takeaways

  • Healthcare professionals play an important role in supporting their patients with heart failure to participate in self-management.  
  • We have developed a range of resources for your patients to help them understand heart failure and what they can do to manage their condition.  

Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome with typical symptoms and signs that generally occur on exertion but can also occur at rest (particularly when lying down). Heart failure occurs secondary to an abnormality of cardiac structure or function, and impairs the ability of the heart to pump blood around the body.  

We have developed resources for your patients with heart failure, including our heart failure video series, a Living Well with Heart Failure booklet, and our series of Action Plans. We have also created resources for patients in collaboration with NPS MedicineWise.   

VIDEO SERIES: Understanding heart failure   

This series of short videos helps patients better understand a range of topics related to heart failure such as:   

  • What is heart failure 
  • Medicines for heart failure  
  • What to do when you feel sick  
  • Mental and emotional health  
  • How does heart failure make you feel  
  • Things to do to make you feel better 
  • Heart failure and physical activity  
Watch the videos

BOOKLET: Living Well with Heart Failure 

The Living Well with Heart Failure booklet contains information for patients about what heart failure is, how it feels, what to do if they are feeling sick, and an emergency plan in case symptoms get worse.  

Order copies of the booklet for your practice | Download a copy of the booklet  

You may like to use some plans from the Living Well with Heart Failure booklet when seeing a patient with heart failure.  
  • My fluid plan. Fluid intake plays a role in heart failure management, but it can be hard for some patients to keep track. Patients should be advised if they put weight on quickly (more than 2kg in two days), they should speak to their doctor, nurse or health worker.  
  • Things you can do to feel better. This list summarises the steps patients can take to manage their heart failure and identifies when they need to take action if they are not feeling well.  
  • My medicines. Fill out the table with your patient so they can remember when to take their medicines, what their medicines are for, and how they should take them.  
  • Things to do every day. This action plan summarises the key things patients can do each day to feel well.  
  • My emergency plan. This action plan encourages patients to call their doctor, nurse or health worker within 24 hours if they experience certain symptoms. 
  • Warning signs of a heart attack. This flow chart helps patients to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack and know when to call Triple Zero (000).  

Exercise and cardiac rehabilitation 

Exercise is recommended in our heart failure clinical guidelines as an effective intervention for patients with stable chronic heart failure; particularly those with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction.  

Evidence has found regular moderate-intensity exercise can improve physical health and quality of life and can decrease hospitalisation (GRADE Recommendation strength: strong. Quality of evidence: high). Patients with heart failure can begin exercising as soon as they are clinically stable.  

Exercise training is a component of cardiac rehabilitation programs. Patients with a new diagnosis of heart failure, or if they experience a change in their heart failure condition, should be referred to cardiac rehabilitation.  

See our cardiac services directory to find a cardiac rehabilitation service for your patient. You can also provide them with our cardiac rehabilitation booklet.  

You can encourage patients to be more physically active:  

Helpline (13 11 12)  

Our Helpline is a free telephone service providing information, guidance and support to help people improve their heart health. Every call is answered by a qualified health professional and callers can discuss anything related to cardiovascular disease. The Helpline operates from 8.30am to 5.30pm Australian Central Standard Time, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.  

NPS MedicineWise Collaboration  

NPS MedicineWise, in collaboration with the Heart Foundation, has also developed a range of heart failure resources for patients. These include an action plan to help patients identify the most important parts of their heart failure self-management, and a fact sheet providing information about heart failure, what it means for daily life, and five questions to ask GPs. There are also resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.  

You can also tell your patients about the NPS MedicineWise app which they can use to keep track of their medicines and access important health information.  

Read more   

Additional plans and resources  

Last reviewed on 21/05/2021

You might also be interested in

Supporting Young Hearts Program

Supporting Young Hearts Program

Information and resources for health professionals who are treating patients between 18 - 40 years of age....

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

Alcohol action plan

Alcohol action plan

Order patient resources online

Order patient resources online

Search and order from our range of printed patient resources online. ...

Diabetes action plan

Diabetes action plan

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity information for professionals...

Nutrition action plan

Nutrition action plan

Resources for healthcare professionals

Resources for healthcare professionals

Resources for healthcare professionals

We have developed a range of resources for you to use as part of routine care. ...

Physical activity action plan

Physical activity action plan

Quit smoking action plan

Quit smoking action plan

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Tenecteplase versus alteplase for stroke thrombolysis evaluation trial

Tenecteplase versus alteplase for stroke thrombolysis evaluation trial

Professor Mark Parsons, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Research Directory

Research Directory

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

A small, battery-powered device that is fitted under the skin of your upper chest....

Resources for healthcare professionals

Resources for healthcare professionals

Resources for healthcare professionals

We have developed a range of resources for you to use as part of routine care. ...

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

After having five open heart surgeries between the ages of 13 and 41, Peter knows a thing or two about recovery....

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Pregnancy is often referred to as the “ultimate stress test” for the body....

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

Serves Makes 350g | (Serves 8 – about 2 tablespoons - 44g)

Supporting Young Hearts Program

Supporting Young Hearts Program

Information and resources for health professionals who are treating patients between 18 - 40 years of age....

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Become a Heart Foundation fundraiser, do it for heart and make a real difference to your community....

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Understand how smoking can impact your heart health. ...

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

What does a heart-friendly diet look like?...

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Like men, women can be diagnosed with a range of heart conditions....

Our corporate partners

Our corporate partners

Our corporate partners

We value the support of all of our corporate partners....

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

You may be surprised to know that on average, adults sit for nine hours a day....

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Healthy Active by Design

Healthy Active by Design

Healthy Active by Design

Improving the design of our cities, towns, streets and buildings makes it easier for Australians to lead heart-healthy lives....

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Eating healthy foods can help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. ...

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Making philanthropic investments through the Heart Foundation can transform Australians’ health. ...

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

And the heartache lasts a lifetime. But you can help the Heart Foundation fund life-saving research to keep more families together....

Italian veggie fritters with tomato salad

Italian veggie fritters with tomato salad

Italian veggie fritters with tomato salad

20 minutes
Serves Serves 4 (as a main meal)

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

What are the best sources of protein when it come to your heart health...

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

With immediate help a cardiac arrest can be survived. Learn how to save a life....