Five Ways To Help The Elderly Care For Their LungsOctober 18, 2020
October is Healthy Lung Month, and as those caring for seniors know, lung health is an important part of living a healthy and active lifestyle. But most people take lung health for granted until there is a problem, and treatments for lung disease can be costly, invasive, and have mixed results. That’s why the American Lung Association recommends that everyone, but especially seniors and caregivers for seniors, keep their lungs healthy. An in-home caregiver can help in many ways with this, whether it’s light housekeeping to help maintain a cleaner environment or companionship and social interaction to help keep seniors on track with their smoking cessation plan. Below are five ways seniors can help keep their lungs healthy.
1. Home Care Assistance to Stop Smoking
If this list had only one suggestion, this would be it. Of course, then it wouldn’t really be a list! But stopping smoking is not only the most effective way to improve your lung health, it’s one of the most important things that seniors can do for overall health, whether they are in a home care setting or considering home care assistance. Wanting to quit is the first step, and there are many ways that seniors who want to quit can get help. From the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® program and the quitSTART app from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to programs that your medical professional can recommend, there are myriad was to quit smoking. And our in-home caregiver services can help keep seniors who want to quit smoking on track.
Two things related to smoking that home care providers and seniors should consider are secondhand smoke and vaping. Studies show that secondhand smoke can damage the lungs as well, and senior care professionals can assist in helping keep an environment free of secondhand smoke. And while vaping (aka “e-cigarettes”) has been touted as a way to help people stop smoking, early research has shown that the damage it can do to the lungs is also considerable.
2. Senior Home Care Services Can Help You Exercise
Exercise, whether it’s indoor or outdoor, can help the elderly maintain healthy lungs. Staying physically active can help seniors build lung strength and breathe easier. A senior home care aide can provide reminders and encouragement for exercising, such as:
- Aerobic activities, like walking or dancing
- Muscle building activities, like weightlifting or Pilates
- Breathing exercises
Many senior centers sponsor low-impact exercise programs, and a qualified elderly care aide can help you find them and sign up to participate
3. Stay At-Home Care…Don’t Catch a Cold
Colds, flu, and other respiratory infections can have lasting effects on the lungs. A dedicated in-home caregiver for the elderly can assist in helping seniors schedule medical appointments to get a flu shot. The pneumonia vaccine is also recommended for elderly people in home care, after proper consultation with a medical professional.
And while there is still much to be learned about COVID-19 and its long-term effects, one of the earliest known effects of this deadly virus is the damage it can do to the lungs, especially in those who have comorbidities such as COPD. As with many viruses, hand washing, limiting contact and social distancing are important to minimizing the chance of infection. And those exhibiting symptoms should stay home to reduce the risk of infecting others.
4. Home Care Services Help Limit Exposure to Chemicals and Pollutants
An in-home caregiver for seniors can assist with light housekeeping, and that in turn can reduce exposure to harsh chemicals that may damage the lungs. Also, a caregiver who can assist with meal planning and grocery shopping can limit the number of trips a senior has to make to the grocery store, limiting exposure to external pollutants.
5. Use Your Lungs To Help Seniors Advocate for Cleaner Air
There’s only so much an individual senior can do to limit their exposure to external pollutants. At a broader level, it takes leadership from local, state and federal governments to ensure that the air we breathe is clean. Seniors receiving care at home can call or write elected officials and demand that they advocate for policies that lead to cleaner air.
There are many ways to reach your elected representatives, and our in-home caregivers can provide technology and organizational assistance (such as storing congressional representative’s office numbers on a smartphone) that can help seniors become more effective advocates for cleaner air.
Home Care Powered by AUAF Knows How To Help Seniors Living At Home
Our high-quality in-home caregivers can help execute a care plan that will not only help seniors keep their lungs healthy, but also keep them engaged in their own care. In addition to the services mentioned above, in-home caregivers can provide a number of services to give you and your elderly loved ones peace of mind. Call us at or contact us to find out how.
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