Tips for Caring for an Older Parent with Persistent Respiratory Problems

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How Care for an Older Parent with Persistent Respiratory Problems in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Older adults are especially susceptible to serious respiratory issues, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea, and lung cancer. With conditions of this nature, the first step is to ensure your aging loved one is receiving proper treatment from the doctor or an appropriate specialist. As for what you can do while providing care, some suggestions are offered below.

Discourage Smoking

This may seem obvious, but some seniors are reluctant to fully kick the smoking habit even when living with a chronic respiratory ailment. Nicotine replacement therapy, medication, and efforts to shift focus with other forms of stress relief are some of the techniques that may help your loved one permanently ditch this habit and better control the symptoms.

Encourage Regular Exercise & Healthy Eating

Healthy diet and exercise habits can make it easier for your loved one to lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight. Doing so reduces added stress and strain on the lungs. While you’ll want to check with your loved one’s doctor before implementing exercise and diet changes, seniors with chronic respiratory conditions tend to benefit from:
  • Eating smaller, nutrient-rich meals throughout the day to minimize possible issues with swallowing without sacrificing nutrition
  • Drinking plenty of water to keep circulation flowing to the lungs
  • Performing slower, controlled forms of exercise such as yoga that also focus on proper breathing techniques
Seniors with respiratory issues often require assistance with exercising and preparing nutritious meals. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care Ft. Lauderdale, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Enhance Sleep Habits

A lack of sufficient sleep can have a big impact on quality of life for seniors, especially if it’s compounded by symptoms specific to their respiratory conditions. Talk to your loved one’s doctor if this issue is a concern. Sleep habits may be enhanced with efforts that include:
  • Sticking to regular bedtimes and wake-up times
  • Limiting caffeine intake later in the day
  • Planning regular activities during the day to discourage excess napping
  • Creating a comfortable sleep environment
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Manage Medications Carefully

Many seniors with chronic respiratory issues take medications for various conditions. This is why care should also include being mindful of what’s being taken, what directions are specific to each medication, and if there are possible interactions or side effects to watch out for.

Use Oxygen & Other Equipment Appropriately

Some older adults with respiratory issues need to receive oxygen or use other pieces of equipment such as CPAP machines on a regular basis. If this applies to your loved one, make sure you know how such devices are correctly used. Also, be aware of the directions for use specific to your loved one.

Reduce Infection Risks

Older adults, in general, are more susceptible to infections because of age-related changes in the immune system. However, infections can be especially dangerous if your loved one already has a weakened immune system because of a chronic respiratory issue. Certain infections common among seniors, such as pneumonia, can be potentially life-threatening if lung function is already inhibited. Minimize infection risks for your loved one by:
  • Keeping up with recommended vaccinations
  • Frequently washing your hands while providing care
  • Limiting in-person contact if your loved one is especially susceptible to infections 
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Galt Ocean Mile seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance today at (954) 909-0370.


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