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Know your heart - Living with heart failure

Heart failure is a serious condition, but it doesn’t have to stop you doing what you love. Learn more about treatment and support available.


Heart failure is a serious condition, but it doesn’t have to stop you doing what you love. Learn more about heart failure and the treatments and support available to help keep people well and enjoying life.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a serious condition where the heart does not pump blood to the rest of the body as well as it should.

While people of all ages can experience heart failure, it’s more common among older people; nearly two thirds of adults with heart failure are aged 65 years or over. More than 27,000 Victorians live with heart failure, and on average 46 Victorians are admitted to hospital for heart failure every day.

Being diagnosed with heart failure can be life changing, but lifesaving treatments are available. The Heart FoundationExternal Link , together with NPS MedicineWiseExternal Link , have developed videos, action plans and resources to help people living with heart failure stay well.

Understand heart failure

The Heart Foundation and NPS MedicineWise have produced a helpful factsheetExternal Link that explains heart failure and includes some questions you may want to ask your GP.

Download the Heart failure: What you need to know factsheet (PDF)External Link .

Take an active role in managing your heart failure

People with heart failure often need to make changes to their daily life to keep doing the things that are important to them. These changes can include taking medicines regularly as prescribed, limiting the amount of salt consumed and monitoring weight daily.

Learn more about taking an active role in managing heart failure to help improve your health on the NPS MedicineWise websiteExternal Link .

Create an action plan

If you are living with heart failure, it's important to know what to do when you have worsening heart failure symptoms, like feeling more short of breath, or noticing if your weight has changed by more than two kilograms over two days. Completing an action plan with your GP can help you know what to do and when to seek help.

Download the Heart failure action plan template (PDF)External Link .

Watch the ‘Living well with heart failure’ video series

The Heart Foundation has launched a series of videos for people living with heart failure. These videos aim to help people look after themselves, and cover topics including:

  • What is heart failure?
  • How does heart failure make you feel?
  • Medicines for heart failure
  • Things to do to make you feel better
  • Heart failure and physical activity
  • Heart failure, it’s not just physical - mental and emotional health
  • What to do when you feel sick (when to call a doctor/ambulance)

The Living well with heart failure videos are available on the Heart Foundation websiteExternal Link . These videos are now also available in Arabic, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese and Mandarin.

More information

If you have any concerns about your health and wellbeing, please contact your GP. To learn more about heart health visit:

Reviewed 21 December 2022