COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is actually a variety of lung illnesses that seriously compromise a person’s ability to breathe properly. It’s also a progressive illness, meaning it continues to get worse over time. Home care assistance can help seniors to understand how some of these major triggers are affecting their health and making their COPD symptoms worse.
Allergens affect lots of people, but it’s worse for someone with COPD. When allergens affect someone with COPD, breathing becomes even more difficult. Also, seniors with COPD are more susceptible to lung infections and illnesses, so exposure to allergens can tip the scales the wrong way. Allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites are some of the most common ones. Home care providers can help seniors keep their homes cleaner, reducing exposure to allergens.
Air pollution is a problem for everyone, but for seniors with COPD, air pollution can be incredibly damaging. It’s a good idea for people with COPD to stay on top of air quality alerts. Staying inside on days when air quality is particularly bad can be a huge help in reducing exacerbations.
Infections and Illnesses
Even mild illnesses like a cold can be a big problem for people with COPD. Colds, flu, and respiratory infections cause mucus, irritated airways, and other problems that make breathing almost impossible for COPD sufferers. Staying alert for signs of illness and getting to the doctor right away can help COPD patients reduce the length of their illnesses.
Staying away from smoke is crucial for people with COPD. Smoke, whether it’s the person with COPD themselves smoking or secondhand smoke, irritates airways and causes major breathing problems. If seniors with COPD are smokers, it’s imperative that they quit as soon as possible. Their COPD symptoms may improve and their overall health will also improve.
Humidity, high temperatures, barometric changes, and weather that’s too cold are all factors in COPD symptoms worsening. There isn’t much that anyone can do about weather changes, of course, but seniors with COPD can be aware of these triggers for themselves so that they can at least prepare somewhat.
Some medications might interfere with or interact with some COPD medications. One example is some blood pressure medications. Understanding how those side effects might cause COPD symptoms to worsen is important for seniors. It’s a good idea for family caregivers to schedule regular medication reviews with their senior’s doctor in order to talk about symptoms, medications, and side effects.
For some people with COPD, physical activity can temporarily worsen symptoms. The big problem is that exercise is important for people who have COPD because it strengthens the entire cardiovascular system and helps seniors stay healthy. Seniors with COPD should always talk with their doctors about exercise and learn how to exercise safely.
Managing a serious illness like COPD is a lot easier with the help of home care assistance. Caregivers can remind seniors to stay on track with their care plans while also taking care of other necessary tasks that help seniors remain as healthy as possible.