Chronic respiratory issues can make even the simplest daily tasks more challenging, but seniors can make daily life a little easier by taking steps to promote good respiratory health. Along with following the doctor’s advice, you can use these tips to provide your aging parent with the best care possible.
1. Develop a Routine
Regular doctors’ visits are essential for seniors who have chronic respiratory issues. Your loved one should use his or her prescribed medications as recommended. If you spend a lot of time away from the home with your parent, take emergency medicines, such as asthma inhalers, with you to treat his or her symptoms quickly. Your loved one’s regular healthcare routine should also include vaccinations against the seasonal flu. Other vaccines, such as pneumonia vaccines, may be recommended for some seniors with chronic respiratory issues.
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2. Avoid Common Illnesses
A common cold isn’t a big deal for most adults, but those with chronic respiratory issues have a significantly increased risk of developing complications from common illnesses like colds and the flu. Minimizing the risk of infection is an important way to protect your parent. To minimize the risk of these types of illnesses, maintain a good hygiene routine and sanitize your loved one’s home regularly. You and your loved one should also avoid people who are sick whenever possible.
3. Monitor Symptoms Safely
New symptoms, such as a worsening cough or increased difficulty breathing, should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Avoid treating your parent’s new or worsening symptoms with over-the-counter medications like cough syrup. Over-the-counter medicines can have side effects that could potentially worsen chronic respiratory issues. These medications may also interact with prescription medications, causing serious side effects. If your loved one needs an over-the-counter medicine, talk to his or her doctor to choose one that’s safe.
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4.Clean the Air
Use an air purifier to remove indoor air pollutants that can affect your loved one’s respiratory health. Opt for an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove the smallest air particles in the home, and change the filter as recommended by the manufacturer to keep the air inside the home as clean as possible. Other products are available to help you control the indoor air quality in your parent’s home. For example, humidifiers can ease congestion for some seniors. Talk to your parent’s primary doctor to decide whether these products are right for your loved one.
5. Stay Smoke-Free
Secondhand smoke has a significant impact on respiratory health, especially for aging adults who have chronic respiratory issues. The best option for your parent is to avoid using tobacco products. Treatments, including prescription medicines and smoking cessation programs, are available to help your loved one stop smoking.
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. Edmonton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.