Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that make breathing more difficult. Commonly affecting older adults, the risk of developing COPD can actually be reduced by taking some key preventive measures. Chandler, AZ, live-in care professionals have a few tips that can help your aging loved one prevent COPD.
Stop Smoking Immediately
According to the National Institutes of Health, cigarettes are the number one cause of COPD. Even the occasional cigarette or cigar can cause a painful and potentially dangerous flare-up if your loved one is predisposed to COPD. Seniors who are having a difficult time quitting should speak with their doctors about patches, injections, and other professional treatment options.
Avoid Secondhand Smoke
When it comes to respiratory diseases like COPD, constant exposure to secondhand smoke can be just as dangerous as smoking. Family members and friends who smoke should be asked to step outside far away from vents and windows when they are going to have a cigarette. They should also wash their hands and clothes as often as possible so they do not bring lingering carcinogens back into your loved one’s home.
Have the Home’s Air Quality Tested
Many older homes contain building materials and irritants that can damage the lungs and cause chronic respiratory conditions. Seniors who spend most of their time in their homes might be constantly exposed to these dangerous chemicals at all hours of the day. Many HVAC companies offer comprehensive indoor air quality testing and can help your loved one come up with a plan to increase his or her air quality if any chemicals are detected.
Get an Annual Flu Shot
Respiratory viruses not only increase the risk of developing COPD, but they also exacerbate the side effects in seniors who have already been diagnosed with this disease. Anyone who is over age 65 or has a compromised immune system should speak with their doctors about annual flu and pneumonia shots. Caregivers, family members, and close friends should also get a flu shot if they are going to spend quite a bit of time with your loved one.
Make sure your loved one makes decisions with his or her health in mind to prevent COPD and other serious conditions. The caregivers at Chandler Home Care Assistance can help your loved one stay focused on diet, exercise, socialization, and other healthy lifestyle factors so he or she can live a longer and happier life. For more information on the elder care Chandler seniors rely on, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (480) 448-6215 to request a free in-home consultation.