When your elderly family member is experiencing worse symptoms than usual with her COPD, that’s called an exacerbation. An exacerbation can be the warning right before a lung infection takes hold. If your senior is prone to flare-ups, you can take some steps to reduce the likelihood of one developing.
Avoid Pollution and Smells that Make Breathing More Difficult
Fragrances, like perfumes and cleaning products, as well as pollution can all create breathing issues for an elderly family member with COPD. Steering clear of pollution and smells sounds a lot easier than it is, though. This involves paying a lot of attention to what comes into your senior’s home and how certain scents affect her. It’s worth investing in an air purifier that works well to keep problems to a minimum.
Quit Smoking and Steer Clear of Secondhand Smoke
Lots of people with COPD used to smoke or still do. If that’s the case for your aging adult, one of the best things that she can do to reduce the risk of exacerbations is to quit smoking. This isn’t easy, of course, but it can be done. Work with your senior’s doctor to help develop a plan to help her to quit smoking safely.
Take Steps to Reduce the Likelihood of Illness
It’s easy for someone to recommend that you keep your senior from getting sick, but in practice that’s a lot more difficult. Some of the ways to do that could include getting vaccinations regularly, being aware of who is sick and spending time around your senior, and washing your own hands often. It also helps to make sure that your elderly family member is properly hydrated, that she’s getting the sleep that she needs, and that she’s eating healthy meals. These things can all help to boost her immune system.
Establish a COPD Management Plan with Your Senior’s Doctor
Above all, your elderly family member needs to have a COPD management plan in place with her doctor. This can mean using inhalers, nebulizers, and other forms of treatments properly. It can also mean trying treatments like pulmonary rehabilitation to help your elderly family member learn as much as possible about keeping her lungs healthier.
Some of these steps are easier to take than others. Your elderly family member may find it easier to have home care providers available to help her to focus on what will help her most at any given moment. They can help her to stay on track with all of the aspects of her treatment plan.
For Home Care Services in Oakland TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!