If you have an aging loved one with COPD, you might be feeling very frightened. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, even though many people who have COPD don’t even know they have it.
Once you do know that your loved one has COPD, though, you and/or their home health care aide can help them to live with the illness effectively. They will undoubtedly have troubles, especially at first, though, because COPD makes doing even simple tasks very difficult, because it is easy to get out of breath.
But there are many things that you can do, not only to add years of living to their lives, but also to help make their breathing more normal and more comfortable.
- The first step you should take is to have your loved one stop smoking if they are a smoker. Smoking is the number one way to get COPD, and quitting immediately makes one feel better. Over time, it even helps to keep the lungs from becoming so damaged so quickly, so the moment your loved one stops smoking is the moment that they add years onto their life.
- If you, your home health care aide, or anyone who lives with your loved one is a smoker, they should try to quit as well. Secondhand smoke is just as dangerous and damaging as smoking firsthand, so for their health (and for your own, if you are a smoker), stop doing it.
- Another thing that has been shown to greatly help COPD sufferers to breathe better is pulmonary rehabilitation. Pulmonary rehabilitation is exactly what it sounds like: rehab for one’s lungs. It consists of eating a diet that is healthy for the lungs, and doing exercises that improve lung health. This is often done with a team of specialists, so contact your loved one’s doctor to learn more.
- Diet and exercise, even outside of pulmonary rehabilitation, are extremely important as well. They allow the body to take in and absorb more oxygen more efficiently, and they strengthen your heart and lungs. They also give one more energy, so your loved one will feel more motivated to do the things they want and need to do.
- Medication is often used in the treatment of COPD as well. The two main types of medication used are bronchodilators, which widen airways to made breathing easier, and antibiotics, which treat any infections that are present in the lungs.
- Lastly, oxygen therapy is often used to help people whose COPD prevents them from getting enough oxygen. This oxygen they breathe in is used to keep the heart and body healthy, and to give them more energy. Not everyone with COPD needs oxygen therapy, but for those who do, it can make a huge difference in quality of life.
If your loved one is suffering from COPD, there is no need to be frightened. As you can see, there are many ways for you, your doctor, and your home care aide to help them, which means that someone with COPD can still live a full, happy life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Tacoma WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.