AAHFN C-a-R-E's - 2019 Heart Failure Awareness Week

AAHFN Unveils Patient Mnemonic to Help With Self-Care

2019 Heart Failure Awareness Week

Nearly 6.5 million Americans are living with heart failure and approximately 550,000 additional cases are diagnosed each year. Heart Failure (HF) is a debilitating and life-threatening condition that also impairs relationships and emotional well-being. 1,2  February 10 through the 16 is Heart Failure Awareness week. This week is designed to inform the public about heart failure. Educating and promoting self-care strategies is vital in the lives of HF patients. Research has shown that visual and auditory tools enhance patient’s ability to remember information. In support of Heart Failure Awareness Week, the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) has created a C.A.R.E. card for the nurse and the HF patient.

Key objectives of the campaign are:

  • For nurses, the C.A.R.E. mnemonic is a way to facilitate comprehensive care and teaching for heart failure patients. Based on the proposed mnemonic, nurses should:

C: Connect with the team to clarify the care plan.

A: Assess patients’ condition and readiness to learn.

R: Reinforce necessary information, including follow up appointments, medication teaching and dietary restrictions.

E: Use Evidence-based interventions to foster retention of the information taught, such as teach-back strategies and education materials from trusted sources.

  • For patients, the same mnemonic may be adjusted to help them remember key components of their care plan.

C: Connect with the health care team.

A: Ask questions to the heart failure nurse if needed.

R: Report any concerning symptoms including leg cramps, palpitations, changes in vital signs, or any feelings of discomfort. One should discuss medications with their provider each time they see them.

E: Engage with the health care provider. Take medications and follow a  prescribed diet and exercise plan.

In addition, on the AAHFN website (aahfn.org) there are tools to help the Heart Failure patient remember to take their medicine, be aware of sodium intake, and a cookbook for heart-healthy recipes. Heart Failure patients and caregivers can connect with other patients and caregivers as well as learn about the disease on www.togetherinhf.com. Together in HF social network is an innovative resource for information and support and a place to meet others with similar health experiences.

About Heart Failure 
Heart failure, which means the heart does not contract with enough force to pump sufficient blood throughout the body, is a debilitating and life-threatening condition, affecting nearly 6 million Americans.1,2  It is the leading cause of hospitalization among Americans over the age of 65.3 Heart failure presents a major and growing health-economic burden that currently exceeds $30 billion in the United States, which accounts for both direct and indirect costs.1,4

Sponsors of AAHFN’s Heart Failure Awareness Week include:

  • Amgen Cardiovascular
  • Novartis


The American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) unites professionals in the support and advancement of heart failure practice, education and research to promote optimal patient outcomes. AAHFN is dedicated to advancing nursing education, clinical practice and research with the goal of setting the standards for heart failure nursing care. Find more information about AAHFN and Heart Failure Awareness Week by visiting http://www.aahfn.org and following the association on Twitter at @AAHFN.

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Media Contact:

Karyn Lockshine, CAE

VP of Business Operations




  1. Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2016 Update: A report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2016; 132:000-000. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000350.
  2. Fauci A, Longo D. Disorders of the Heart. Harrison’s ‘Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. New York, NY; McGraw-Hill Book Co; 2008;4:1442-55.
  3. Wier LM, Pfuntner A, Maeda J, et al. HCUP Facts and Figures: Statistics on Hospital-based Care in the United States, 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2011; 1-3.
  4. Heidenreich PA, Albert NM, Allen LA, et al. Forecasting the impact of heart failure in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circ Heart Fail. 2013;6:606-619. 
    Gallagher R, Luttik M-L, Jaarsma T. Social Support and Self-care in Heart Failure. J Card Nurs. 2011; Vol. 26, No. 6, pp 439-445.

Source: American Association of Heart Failure Nurses


Categories: Medicine and Healthcare, Elder Care

Tags: AAHFN, care, health, healthcare, heartfailure, heartfailureawarenessweek, hospitalization, medicine, nurse, nursing, rn, togetherinhf

About American Association of Heart Failure Nurses

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The AAHFN is a specialty organization dedicated to advancing nursing education, clinical practice and research to improve heart failure patient outcomes.

Karyn Lockshine
Executive Director, American Association of Heart Failure Nurses
American Association of Heart Failure Nurses
1120 Route 73 S, Suite 200 (Suite 200)
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
United States