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What Seniors and Families Should Know About COPD

Elder care can help seniors with COPD get around more easily, keep dust and allergens out of the home, and provide companionship for seniors who find it difficult to get out of the house.
Elder Care in McKinney TX

COPD is common in seniors. Estimates are that about 10% of seniors over the age of 75 have COPD. Living with COPD can require seniors to make some lifestyle changes, and to have some extra support.

It’s recommended that seniors aging in place who have COPD have elder care at home to help them. Elder care is a comprehensive service that helps seniors with everything from light housekeeping to shopping and making meals. Elder care can help seniors get around more easily, keep dust and allergens out of the home, and provide companionship for seniors who find it difficult to get out of the house.

Some things that seniors and their families should know about COPD are:

What It Is

COPD is a group of lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, characterized by airflow obstruction and breathing difficulties. The primary cause of COPD is long-term exposure to irritants, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and occupational dust and chemicals. Additionally, genetic factors and respiratory infections can contribute to the development and progression of COPD. Smoking doesn’t necessarily mean that someone will get COPD, but smokers do have a very high risk of developing COPD as they age.

The Symptoms of COPD

Seniors with COPD may experience symptoms such as persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and excessive mucus production. These symptoms often worsen over time and can significantly impact daily activities and quality of life. Diagnosis typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, lung function tests (spirometry), and imaging studies (chest X-rays or CT scans) to assess lung function and rule out other conditions.

It Can Be Managed

COPD is a chronic and incurable condition, but there are various treatment options available. COPD is progressive but seniors can sometimes slow down the progression and manage symptoms with:

  • Medications: Bronchodilators and corticosteroids are commonly prescribed to alleviate symptoms and reduce inflammation in the airways. Vaccinations against influenza and pneumonia can also help prevent respiratory infections.
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation: This comprehensive program involves exercise training, education, and counseling to improve breathing techniques, physical stamina, and overall quality of life for seniors with COPD.
  • Oxygen Therapy: Supplemental oxygen therapy may be prescribed for seniors with severe COPD to improve oxygen levels in the blood and alleviate symptoms of hypoxemia (low blood oxygen).
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgical interventions such as lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplantation may be considered for seniors with advanced COPD who do not respond to other treatments.

Your senior parent’s doctor will be able to give you specific advice about the best course of treatment for your senior parent.

Lifestyle Modifications Can Help

Some lifestyle modifications can help seniors with COPD manage their symptoms. The most recommended lifestyle modifications for seniors to make are:

  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid allergens and dust
  • Get more exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet

Lifestyle changes and medications can make a big difference in the quality of life that seniors with COPD experience.

There is Support Out There

Living with COPD can be challenging, both physically and emotionally, for seniors and their families. Seniors and their families can find support through support groups, community centers, online groups, and in the medical community.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in McKinney, TX, please contact the caring staff at Clear Path Home Care today at (817) 928-5788
Clear Path Home Care provides compassionate, high-quality home care in Denton County, Montague County, Cooke County, Grayson County, Fannin County, Lamar County, Wise County, Collin County, Hunt County, Delta County, and Hopkins County in Texas.
Clear Path Home Care Staff
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