Heart failure has significant prevalence in older people: the mean average age of patients with the condition is 77 years. It has serious prognostic and quality of life implications for patients, as well as health service costs. Diagnosis requires confirmatory investigations and consideration of causative processes. First-line treatment involves education, lifestyle modification, symptom-controlling and disease-modifying medication. Further treatment may include additional medications, cardiac devices and surgery. End of life planning is part of the care pathway.