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The role of family members, friends and other caregivers can often make the difference in the quality of life for heart failure patients. These individuals are referred to as ‘carers or family caregivers’. They take on an unpaid caring role for someone who needs help because of a physical or cognitive condition, an injury or a chronic life-limiting illness.

Carers Canada is partnering with carer organizations in Australia, United Kingdom and United States to better understand the impact of caregiving, identify the unmet needs and stimulate actions to better support carers for persons with a diagnosis of heart failure.

The research is lead by Dr. Anna Strömberg, Professor of Nursing Science, Linköping University, and Research Coordinator and Heart Failure Nurse Specialist, Department of Cardiology, Linköping University Hospital. The project is coordinated through the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) and funded by Novartis Pharma AG.

Beginning in February 2017 (Heart Month), the partners will reach out to carers through an online survey to identify the physical, emotional/psychological, and social impacts of caring for an individual diagnosed with heart failure. All responses will be confidential and no identifying information will be collected. The results of the research study will be released in September 2017 and disseminated to a broad range of stakeholders across the world.

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure means the heart muscle is not pumping blood as well as it should, resulting in the body not getting the amount of blood, oxygen and nutrients it needs. Heart failure symptoms include shortness of breath, sudden weight gain, loss of or change in appetite and swelling in the ankles, feet, legs or stomach because of fluid retention.

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