Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common illness among seniors. Despite its prevalence, there are steps your elderly loved one can take to prevent the development of this serious condition.
Avoiding cigarettes is one of the best ways to prevent COPD. Smoking and secondhand smoke have been responsible for a large percentage of COPD-related deaths over the years. The smoke damages the air sacs, linings, and airways of the lungs, which can make it difficult to breathe.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of encouragement when your loved one is trying to practice healthier habits. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Limit Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution
The lung irritants found inside a home can lead to COPD. Indoor air pollution will damage the walls between the air sacs over time. If your loved one is going to have the home painted or sprayed for insects and rodents, make sure he or she isn’t at home that day. To be safe, your loved one should stay away from the house for a few days to let these types of lung irritants fade away.
Your loved one should be tested for COPD, especially if he or she has a chronic cough, excessive mucus, or constant wheezing. A doctor can give your loved one a simple breathing test known as spirometry, which isn’t only necessary for seniors who experience shortness of breath after small amounts of physical activity, but it’s also good for former smokers. Keep in mind COPD is partially reversible, which means it’s important to have your loved one tested for the disease for prevention and to slow the progression of the illness as well.
Aging adults with COPD often find it challenging to accomplish everyday tasks on their own. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Richmond seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Be Aware of Family History
There’s a genetic component that increases a senior’s risk of COPD. If your loved one is aware of this factor, he or she can avoid some of the habits or conditions that cause COPD. Seniors with the gene for this disease can get COPD without smoking. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death among seniors each year. If your loved one has the gene, you need to know so you can do everything possible to help him or her prevent the disease from developing or progressing.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elderly home care. Richmond families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746 to learn more about our customized care plans.