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May is National Asthma and Allergy Month

May 18, 2021

It’s May, meaning seniors who live at home are noticing trees and flowers blooming on their daily walks. That is, of course, unless they have allergies. In which case they can’t see much because their eyes are watering and they are too busy sneezing. That’s why May is the perfect time for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to sponsor Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. According to the AAFA, more than 65 million Americans are living with asthma or allergies; including seasonal allergies, food allergies and medication allergies.

Allergies and Asthma for Elderly in Home Care

Asthma can be a more serious condition for seniors in home care, in part because seniors are at higher risk for respiratory failure from asthma, and because asthma is frequently misdiagnosed as COPD , thanks to a mistaken belief that asthma affects seniors at a lower rate than younger people.

Home Care for Seniors with Asthma and Allergies

The AAFA recommends that seniors need help at home to maintain an asthma-friendly environment. An at-home caregiver can help with many of their recommendations, such as:

  • Clean floors often, with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. Home care aides can perform light housekeeping that keeps dust and other allergens at bay.
  • Try to avoid using spray cleaners.
  • Having an at-home caregiver cleaning for you means you don’t need to be near the spray cleaners at all.
  • You spend more time in your bed than anywhere else on an average day. Sheets, blankets and pillowcases are all places where dust, pet hair and other allergens can collect. Washing them in hot water every week can help keep allergens in check. An in-home caregiver can provide laundry assistance.
  • Remove rugs, especially in bedrooms, as they can trap dust. This is also a good idea to prevent falls. A home caregiver can help provide organization help so that these rugs aren’t a risk.

These are just a few ways a home care aide can assist. Home care aides can also provide services to support seniors with asthma in other ways to help them manage their condition.

Seniors in Home Care Can Avoid Allergens and Asthma Triggers

Having in-home help is important. But there are some things seniors can do themselves to prevent asthma and allergies from worsening.

Stop smoking

Any time the respiratory system is involved, the best advice to make things better is always to stop smoking. It should be obvious that not inhaling irritants directly into the lungs would be a no-brainer when it comes to preventing asthma symptoms. But it’s worth saying again in case it’s not. Unfortunately, this includes vaping as well. While vaping has different risks than smoking, it’s still something that can trigger asthma attacks.

Pets

Most people consider their pets as part of their family. The companionship they provide is invaluable, but some pets can trigger allergy or asthma attacks. If you don’t want to get rid of your pet (and who does?) there are some things you can do to mitigate their effect. Not letting your pets sleep in the same room as you is perhaps the most important one. Generally keeping them out of your bedroom as much as possible can help minimize their impact.

Get vaccinated

Getting your annual influenza vaccine and a pneumonia vaccine as recommended by your medical professional is especially important for people with asthma. Because the flu affects the lungs, it can make for worse asthma attacks.

Talk to your medical professional about medications

There are many over-the-counter and prescription allergy medicines that your doctor can recommend. And if you’re unsure about how to use your inhaler(s), you should definitely speak to your medical professionals about that as well. Your healthcare provider can and should demonstrate their proper use so that you feel confident in your ability to use these life-saving medications.

While there is no treatment plans for asthma or allergies, taking steps to mitigate their effect is important for your overall quality of life.

COVID and Asthma for Elderly in Home Care

Given that COVID-19 is contracted through respiratory droplets, it stands to reason that people with asthma are at significantly increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seniors with asthma take extra precautions, including receiving the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.

Home Care Powered by AUAF Can Help Seniors with Asthma and Allergies

Whether it’s setting up medication reminders to help seniors at home take their allergy medicines, or meal preparation and planning to help them avoid food allergies, the professional caregivers at Home Care Powered by AUAF provide the highest quality home care services for your elderly loved ones. Call us at 773-274-9262, or email: info@homecare-aid.com for more information on how to get started with home care services today.

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