Assessment and management of heart failure (HF) in older adults may be simplified and structured by the mnemonic DEFEAT-HF: Diagnosis, Etiology, Fluid volume, Ejection fraction, And Treatment of Heart Failure. A clinical diagnosis and etiology of HF can often be established during history and physical examination. Fluid volume status must be assessed by estimating jugular venous pressure in centimeters of water by identifying the top of the jugular venous pulsation in the neck and estimating its vertical height from the right atrium. Left ventricular ejection fraction must be obtained to classify patients into systolic and diastolic HF and to guide evidence-based therapy. © 2011.