Home Care for Seniors with COPDMay 14, 2021
COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, is a disease of the lungs that blocks the airways. The most common types of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema (many people with COPD have both). The effects of the disease, which mainly affects seniors and older people, have serious consequences. It is one of the 5 biggest causes of death in the US, responsible for about 120,000 deaths every year. There is no cure for COPD; Treatments are focused on slowing the progress of the disease. This makes it a difficult disease for seniors to manage. Meaning many seniors with COPD who live at home need assistance.
Symptoms and Complications of COPD in Seniors
Because COPD affects the lungs of seniors by blocking the airways, the most common symptoms have to do with breathing. These symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath after even mild activity
- Wheezing or long lasting coughing
- Frequent respiratory infections, which occur because the lungs are not healthy enough to ward off routine infection
- Tightness in the chest
- Fatigue and lack of energy
These symptoms tend to progress steadily, so talk to your medical professional at the first sign of these symptoms, as there may already be damage to the lungs. Many people, especially seniors, may ignore these symptoms initially, thinking they have a bad cold or a routine case of bronchitis. Once a senior is diagnosed with COPD, there are many treatment options that can help you manage the disease.
How Seniors In Home Care Can Treat COPD
While there is no cure for COPD, and the point of treatment is to slow the progress of the disease, there are things that seniors with COPD can do to help manage the disease. You already know that the first one is going to be “stop smoking,” right?
- Stop smoking. See? We told you so. But seriously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that up to 80% of people who die from COPD are smokers. Smoking causes COPD because the smoke irritates the lungs and destroys the air sacs inside.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation. A mix of education and exercise, it is recommended for many patients to help rebuild their breathing capacity after they’ve stopped smoking.
- Bronchodilators, that can help ease breathing-related symptoms by relaxing the muscles around the lungs and expanding the breathing pathways. To reduce inflammation, steroids can be prescribed
- Oxygen therapy – oxygen delivered through a mask or tube to help increase blood oxygen levels.
- In some cases, they need surgery to clear away dead lung tissue and allow healthy tissue to grow.
Seniors with COPD Need Help at Home
Because of the seriousness of these symptoms, seniors with COPD who live at home may have difficulty with every day tasks. Because simple tasks can leave them short of breath, things like housekeeping and laundry are especially taxing for seniors with COPD. Additionally, treatment regimens like pulmonary rehabilitation require a trip out of the home that may leave seniors lacking in energy for other errands. And medications need to be administered at specific times, some with meals and some without. That’s why having an at-home caregiver is an excellent way for seniors with COPD to get the assistance they need. Having in-home assistance from a caregiver can give you the peace of mind; that allows you to focus on treating your COPD.
Home Care Powered by AUAF Provides Quality At-Home Care
The dedicated caregivers at Home Care Powered by AUAF are here for you or your elderly relative with COPD. Our knowledgeable caregivers know how best to take care of your at-home needs. From helping you organize your appointments to preparing meals that mean you don’t have to tire yourself out cooking dinner. Call us at or contact us today to find out more about how Home Care Powered by AUAF is the home care agency for you.
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