Written By: Amy Shevlin, PT, MS, DPT, GCS


According to Webster, self-care is defined simply as caring for oneself. As busy therapists, we can understand the importance of proper self-care as we try to navigate busy work and home schedules. Finding a way to take some time to relax in the evenings after a productive day in the clinic can help us stay engaged and happy with our chosen profession.

Self-care for patients living with heart failure is essential. Care for oneself can include those measures our heart failure patients can take to help reduce their risk of hospital admission.

Self-care strategies shown to help reduce the risk of hospital admission include but are not limited to:

– Obtaining a daily weight
– Medical appointment follow-ups after hospital admission
– Adhering to a medication regime
– Monitoring for signs and symptoms of heart failure

It is estimated that one-fourth of heart failure hospital admissions can be prevented and studies have shown these strategies to be effective.

Therapists can play a key role in facilitating adherence to these self-care measures. Take obtaining a daily weight as an example. What if our patients have difficulty stepping on and off a scale safely? We can provide interventions designed to improve their ability and increase their independence with this task, thereby enabling better adherence to this self-care measure. Also, consider adherence to a medication regimen. It is possible the lack of adherence to a medication regimen is related to an inadequate medication management system. By problem-solving with our patients and teaching them strategies to simplify medication management, we can help promote Save & Exit medication adherence and reduce the risk of hospital admission.

During my Summit Live Webinar on March 25th, Therapy Management of Heart Failure, we will discuss these self-care strategies as a way of not only reducing hospital admissions but as a means of promoting increased safety and independence of our patients. We will also discuss the causes, pathophysiology, diagnostic testing, and medical treatment of heart failure. Other topics to be covered during this course include patient evaluation, evidence-based therapeutic interventions to maximize patient independence, hospital readmission trends, patient and system-based strategies to reduce the risk of hospital admission, barriers to adherence to health care recommendations, and evidence-based interventions designed to maximize patient adherence with health care recommendations. 

Heart failure can be a challenging condition to manage. By targeting our interventions to those that have been shown to help promote patient independence, maximize safety, and reduce the risk of hospital admission, we can improve our patients’ abilities to effectively manage this condition.


Explore continuing education courses from Amy below:

COPD, Diabetes, Heart Failure, and Hypertension

Therapeutic Management of Heart Failure

Visit summit-education.com for more information.