COPD is an abbreviation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a general term that is used to describe conditions that are progressive and affect the lungs, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. When a person has COPD, the airflow from the lungs is obstructed.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, COPD affects 12 million people in the United States and another 12 million are undiagnosed. The large number of undiagnosed people with COPD is believed to be because many people think that it is normal to experience increasing breathlessness with age.
In addition, the symptoms of COPD in its beginning stages are mild and may go unnoticed. The good news is that COPD is treatable and it is possible for those with COPD to keep the symptoms under control and live a good quality of life. Because COPD is a treatable condition that affects so many senior Americans, it’s important that caregivers recognize the signs and symptoms of COPD so that the seniors in their care are able to get the necessary medical attention.
What causes COPD?
The majority of cases of COPD in America are caused by smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke, but COPD can also be caused by prolonged exposure to pollutants that may be inhaled. Work environments in which people are exposed to dust, fumes, and chemicals may contribute to COPD. Genetics also play a role in COPD, so it is possible for a person who has never smoked or worked in an area that exposed them to pollutants to get COPD.
What are the symptoms of COPD?
COPD symptoms are so mild at the start that they usually aren’t noticed until the lungs are damaged to a significant extent. The symptoms of COPD get worse over time, especially if the person is still being exposed to cigarette smoke or other pollutants.
The signs and symptoms of COPD are:
How can you help your senior parent manage COPD?
There are many medical treatments available to help people with COPD, such as oxygen therapy, medications, and surgery. In addition, you and your senior parent’s caregivers can help implement some lifestyle changes that will improve your parent’s quality of life and help them to live longer with COPD. Some of the changes you can help your parent make are:
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Compassionate Senior Care: Using Your Own Thoughts and Feelings to Guide Your Care Efforts
Senior Care in Deerfield, IL
No matter how you confident you felt when you first got started as a family caregiver for your aging parents, being on a senior care effort can sometimes be stressful and confusing. You know that you want to give your loved ones the highest quality of care possible to meet their needs, support an active lifestyle, and encourage them to stay as independent as they can safely and confidently as they age in place, but sometimes you may find yourself not knowing what decision to make or how to move forward.
When you find yourself in a situation when you do not know what choice might be best for your parents, using your own thoughts and feelings to guide you can give you better insight and help you to feel more confident as you move forward in your care efforts. Using your thoughts and feelings to guide you is like taking the "golden rule" that your parents taught you when you were a child and translating it into your care approach for them. Just as they taught you to "treat others as you would like to be treated", you can use how you would want your child to care for you to help you make decisions in your care routine with them.
Use these tips to show compassion for your aging parents by utilizing your own thoughts and feelings to guide you through the sometimes difficult decisions that you must make in the course of your care journey with them:
• Personal appearance. When you are facing a long list of care needs for both of your parents and trying to fit them into an already busy schedule of activities with your children, career, and home, you might consider skipping steps in their care such as doing your mother's hair, helping her do her makeup, or helping your father shave every day. If you are thinking about this, stop for a moment and consider how your personal appearance impacts how you feel on a daily basis. Remember that your seniors are still the same people they were when they were young, and keeping their personal appearance in mind can help them to feel better about themselves and more motivated to take care of themselves
• Care provider. If you are considering hiring a senior health care services provider for your loved ones, it is important to choose one who is compatible with them. Consider what you would want in a care provider, from her personality traits to how she would speak to you, and then think about how these ideas might differ from your parents so you can use these thoughts to help you choose the care provider who is right for them
• Respect and dignity. How would it make you feel if your adult child was bathing you or helping you with toileting? What emotions might you go through is you were reliant on your child's care and she came into the home, ran around finishing tasks, and left after barely speaking to you? Put yourself into these situations and use how you know you would feel to guide the level of respect and dignity you give your seniors throughout each of your care tasks.
If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home senior care in Deerfield, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.