The Emotional Costs of Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is not strong enough to pump as much blood as the body needs. The heart is a muscle, but unlike other muscles, it doesn’t get stronger the harder it works. Instead, as it works harder to pump blood, it gets weaker, not stronger. As the heart weakens and the body gets less oxygen, the classic symptoms of heart failure begin to show: shortness of breath, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, swelling in the legs, and fluid retention.

But there is more to heart failure than shortness of breath. Heart failure also has psychological symptoms. It is associated with depression, anxiety, and stress — all of which cause even more damage to the heart.

Moreover, these psychological conditions make people less able to take care of themselves; people suffering from depression or anxiety find it harder to maintain the therapeutic life changes, such as healthy diet and exercise, that are so important in managing heart failure.

For that reason, an important component of heart failure treatment is treating these negative emotions. Cardiac rehabilitation focuses not only on the physical aspects of the disease, but also includes group or individual counseling to manage the anxious fear of the future, sense of isolation, and stress that accompany heart failure.

At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, our care programs are designed specifically to meet the unique needs and interests of seniors and long-term care patients. We emphasize restorative care, maximizing each patient’s potential to regain and maintain function and mobility.

Our outstanding Social Services team works hard to ensure that every resident thrives socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

We promote a culture of independence, crucial for emotional, social, and physical health. Residents are encouraged to choose their activity and meal preferences, and to perform tasks and activities as self-sufficiently as possible.

We carefully select, train and re-train our wonderful caregivers, who are especially sensitive to the needs of our long-term care patients. They treat residents with love, compassion, and dignity.

Our philosophy is to foster an environment that is cheerful and enthusiastic, so residents truly relish and appreciate life.

Read our reviews on,, and to hear what our residents and their families have to say.

Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.

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