5 Guidelines for Caring for an Older Adult with Respiratory Problems

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Chronic respiratory issues change life for seniors. Symptoms that include shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing tend to increase with time, and they can all interfere with your senior loved one’s ability to manage his or her daily routine. Your loved one is also at higher risk for complications if he or she gets sick, which increases the importance of infection and allergy control. These tips can help you set up a care plan that protects your loved one’s lungs from further harm.

1. Consider the Impact of a Good Meal Plan

Eating a big meal all at once can sometimes increase respiratory distress by placing more pressure on the lungs. Seniors with respiratory issues often do better when they eat four to six smaller meals each day. A nutritious diet also keeps the immune system strong. Professional meal-planning services are helpful for figuring out how to meet all your loved one’s nutritional needs.

Seniors with respiratory issues often require assistance with 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 homecare Waterloo, ON, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Keep a Personal Health Journal

People with healthy respiratory systems often notice when a cough or sniffle signifies a problem. For a senior with a chronic health condition, this might not always be so simple. A personal health journal helps you track changes in your loved one’s breathing abilities. For instance, you might be able to look back at several days’ worth of entries and notice your loved one is experiencing more chest tightness or wheezing. Keeping a journal is also a great way to compare notes with other caregivers who might notice new things at different times of the day.

3. Increase Housecleaning & Personal Hygiene

Your loved one can still pick up many respiratory illnesses at home. Mold and other allergens can build up quickly, which can cause more symptoms to develop. Make sure to clean your loved one’s home often while looking for hidden sources of allergens, such as mildew growing in the bathroom. Increased handwashing also ensures caregivers don’t accidentally share germs during their care routines.

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 in-home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

4. Use Caution with Scented Products

Your favorite perfume or cologne may need to temporarily go on the shelf. Products with strong scents or chemical ingredients can increase respiratory symptoms in vulnerable seniors. This also means you may need to switch to cleaners with fewer fumes in your loved one’s home. If you do need to use a harshly scented product, consider moving your loved one to another room or outside while someone else handles the chore.

5. Adjust Your Loved One’s Sleep Environment

Respiration changes while your loved one sleeps in a prone position can place pressure on the lungs while affecting how his or her sinuses drain. An adjustable bed or pillows can raise the upper body slightly while sleeping. If your loved one needs equipment for sleep apnea, make sure someone is available to help him or her keep it clean.

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. Waterloo seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call Home Care Assistance today at (647) 992 0224 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.

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