Use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in heart failure with left ventricular systolic dysfunction has revolutionized management of heart failure and resulted in several national heart failure guidelines. However, studies have documented underutilization of these life saving drugs. Subsequently, results of other randomized clinical trials revealed the beneficial effects of angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers, and spironolactone in heart failure with systolic dysfunction, which prompted several other guidelines. However, all these guidelines were primarily restricted to systolic dysfunction. Heart failure is as much a geriatric syndrome as it is a cardiac. Most heart failure patients are older adults. About half of the heart failure in older adults is not associated with left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Two recent heart failure guidelines, from the European Society of Cardiology and the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, published respectively in September and December 2001 included recommendations for patients with preserved left ventricular systolic function and other special populations, including older adults and those at end of life. The purpose of this article is to review the relevance of these two guidelines to heart failure patients living in long-term care facilities. As our population is aging, more heart failure patients are expected to live in long-term care facilities. Appropriate evaluation and management of these patients are essential to improve quality of heart failure care in the coming decades. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.