COPD Awareness Month every November means that it’s a good time to learn what you and your senior's home care providers can do to help your senior to deal with this chronic, progressive disease.
Avoid Triggers that Make Symptoms Worse
Every person with COPD has specific triggers that make their symptoms worse, either temporarily or on a more long-term basis. Being exposed to cigarette smoke, cooking smoke, or certain chemical smells can be enough. It’s important that your senior knows what her triggers are so that she can avoid them as much as possible.
Follow up with Your Senior’s Doctor Regularly
Because COPD is a chronic health condition, your aging family member absolutely needs to work closely with her doctor to ensure that she’s doing all that she can for her overall health. Her doctor will help her to outline a care plan to follow. That may include several different medications that she’ll need to take as prescribed to manage her symptoms.
Prepare for Exacerbations
Exacerbations are times when your elderly family member’s COPD symptoms become much worse, often for quite a while. This can be due to a lung infection, exposure to triggers, or even other illnesses making her COPD symptoms worse. Your elderly family member’s doctor may give her specific instructions regarding being aware of the very beginning stages of pneumonia, for instance, or prescribe a rescue inhaler for her.
Find Ways to Manage Symptoms on a Daily Basis with Home Care Services
Managing symptoms of COPD on a daily basis involves taking a great deal of care. Your elderly family member may not be able to do some of the activities she used to do. Having home care services pick up the slack with things like household tasks can enable her to save her energy for the things that she has to do herself. It can also help if you and your senior make her environment as easy for her to access as possible. Wearing loose clothing and getting plenty of sleep are two other solutions that your senior should definitely add to her plan.
Don’t Ignore the Emotional Impacts
As your aging family member’s family caregiver, it’s really important that you understand the emotional impact of something like COPD. Your elderly family member may grieve the loss of her ability to be as active as she once was, for instance. She may experience other emotional impacts, too. Home care providers can help her to avoid isolating herself, which is a common response from COPD patients.
Every case of COPD is slightly different, but there are similarities. If your aging family member can join a support group or meet other people with COPD, that can help her to feel less alone.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Lake Forest IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.