COPD, also called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a serious set of lung illnesses that can have a dramatic effect on your senior’s ability to live the life she wants to be living. It’s important for your elderly family member to think about how to avoid COPD sooner rather than later because making changes now can reduce her risk factors more than she might think possible. Hire elder care providers to assist her through this process.
Avoid Cigarette Smoke
Cigarette smoke is one of the most common leading causes of COPD. If your elderly family member smokes herself, she may want to consider quitting. Even if she has smoked for a long time, quitting smoking can allow her lungs to heal. Exposure to secondhand smoke is another big problem. Avoiding cigarette smoke altogether is your senior’s best bet.
Avoid Air Pollution and Irritants
Besides cigarette smoke, air pollution and airborne irritants are other contributing factors for your senior to be aware of regarding COPD. If she finds herself feeling bad on days when the air pollution indexes are high, she may want to take special steps to avoid being outside. Likewise, airborne irritants inside like pollen, dust, and household chemicals might be something for her to avoid, too. Elder care can help your senior to keep her home clean and tidy without having to rely on chemicals that irritate her lungs.
Understand Her Individual Risk Factors
It’s also a good idea for your senior to talk with her doctor about her personal risk factors around COPD. If she has a family history of lung diseases, for instance, then your senior’s personal risk factors may be higher than she expects, even if she doesn’t smoke. Learning everything she can about her own health and risk factors can help her to make changes now.
Adjust Diet and Exercise Routines
Overall health and well-being are a big factor, too. Your elderly family member needs to be aware of how her own routines around exercise and diet can impact her chances of dealing with COPD. With the help of elder care providers, your senior may be able to develop better routines in general. Elder care providers can help with meal preparation and remind your senior when it’s time to eat again. Exercise that has been cleared by your senior’s doctor can help to keep her heart and her lungs strong.
Get Vaccinations Against Pneumonia and the Flu
The more your senior is battling smaller lung illnesses, such as the flu and pneumonia, the weaker her lungs are likely to become over time. Couple that with other risk factors, and your senior may find herself dealing with COPD. Immunizations can help to protect your elderly family member a little more thoroughly from getting sick, which can keep her lungs from becoming damaged.
If your elderly family member does develop COPD, it is important that she starts treating it as quickly as possible. Shortness of breath and other symptoms related to COPD can have a tremendous impact on her overall quality of life and her health.