5 Easy Breathing Techniques for Asthmatic Older Adults

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In addition to having inhalers with them, seniors with asthma should learn how to carry out breathing exercises as well. Breathing exercises can teach seniors to calm themselves and control the amount of air getting into their lungs through a wide variety of techniques. Here’s a glimpse at five popular breathing techniques that have helped many asthmatic seniors over the years. 

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Specialists have been teaching people how to carry out diaphragmatic breathing for nearly 40 years. The goal of diaphragmatic breathing is to distribute air throughout the lungs as quickly and easily as possible. The best way to carry out this exercise is to sit in a comfortable chair, breathe in through the nose, and expand the stomach. If this type of breathing is done correctly, the chest should hardly move at all.

Seniors with limited mobility or other health conditions can do breathing exercises with the help of professional caregivers. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an elderly home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

2. The Pursed Lips Technique

Seniors who have been diagnosed with asthma should learn a few breathing techniques that can be used when they’re about to have attacks. One of the reasons asthma attacks occur is because air gets trapped in the lungs and takes up space. The goal of the pursed lips technique is to calm the nerves and push the trapped air out. Seniors should lie calmly, purse their lips as if they were going to whistle, then breathe using their stomachs. 

3. Buteyko Breathing

Dr. Konstantin Buteyko invented this technique to help asthmatics control some of the most common symptoms of this lung disease. The Buteyko method has many benefits, including an increased lung capacity and a slower rate of breathing when carrying out strenuous activities. While sitting in a chair, the senior should tilt his or her head back slightly and breathe through the nose with the mouth closed. After emptying the air out of the lungs, he or she should then hold his or her breath for as long as possible. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs assistance with exercises or other daily tasks. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Edmonton, AB, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

4. The Papworth Method

This method is a great option for seniors who are about to have minor asthma attacks, but it may not help those with severe asthma. It’s almost identical to diaphragmatic breathing, but seniors should try to time their breathing with whatever activities they’re doing. An example of this would be a senior who is out of breath while walking. The senior should try to take short and deliberate breaths through the nose during every other step.

5. Progressive Relaxation

Unlike other breathing techniques, the goal of progressive relaxation is to ease tension throughout the body to slow breathing. In a comfortable position, the senior should slowly expand the abdomen as he or she breathes in through the nose and then flex a single foot for 30 seconds before releasing the tension. The senior should then repeat the process for each major body part over the next few minutes. 

Some family caregivers may find it difficult to find enough time to help their senior loved ones with exercise. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care service. Edmonton families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. To learn more about our highly trained caregivers, call us at (780) 490-7337.


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