How to Care for Elders Dealing with Breathing Difficulties

With the elevated levels of air pollutants nowadays, breathing problems have become quite common. Everyone’s lung health is being compromised, and it is primarily the senior age group that is threatened than any other. Most individuals in the last phase of their life are battling chronic health problems and dealing with the compromised quality of air and lifestyle habits worsening their issues.

The aging process is in itself the biggest risk factor. It not only causes bones and muscle tissues to be weaker but also impacts the lungs to a great extent. With time, the usual expanding or contracting of the ribcage becomes difficult, and even the shape of lung tissue changes. If you have an older family member with respiratory ailments, you can relate.

Common Breathing Problems Among the Elderly

Understanding the type of breathing ailment your loved one has is half the problem solved because now you can know the extent of care required for them. Here are common respiratory issues that are seen in the older age groups:

  • Flu is an infection of the respiratory tract that can cause an extreme inflammatory response in the body, sometimes leading to sepsis in elders.
  • Asthma is one of the conditions in which the airways narrow and swell, producing excessive mucus.
  • Pneumonia – is inflammation of air sacs in one or both lungs due to fluid or pus, leading to coughing and breathing difficulty.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – is a common lung disease mostly seen in chain smokers. It makes the lungs harder to breathe.
  • Bronchitis – is a type of COPD that results in excessive mucus in the chest and uncontrollable cough.

Preventive Measures for Sick Elders

The breathing issues that the elderly go through may be temporary or permanent. Some can be treated with medications and therapies, and some with simple changes of lifestyle habits. Here is how you can safeguard your elders:

  • Start by creating a healthy surrounding.
  • Emphasize the importance of cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Enforce a strict hand-washing policy.
  • Encourage a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • Keep alcoholic beverages away.
  • Recommend more fluid intake.
  • Use vacuums with HEPA filters to trap the dust particles.
  • Change their AC filters often.
  • Wash their linens in hot water to kill dust mites.
  • Try oxygen therapy.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators for Seniors

If your senior family member is struggling too much with a breathing disorder, supplemental oxygen might give a sigh of relief. There are plenty of oxygen devices available – a Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) being the most convenient of all.

It is a portable device that receives air, purifies it, and then distributes the fresh air, with little to no nitrogen component. The best part is that you can plug it into an electrical outlet or power it with a battery. Some models even come with an adapter. So, your loved one can enjoy great health and freedom on the go.

ttery. Some models even come with an adapter. So, your loved one can enjoy great health and freedom on the go.

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