Facts about COPD

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a combination of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Seniors with COPD often experience several breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, a cough that doesn’t seem to go away, and periods of wheezing. Symptoms of COPD also tend to get worse with extremes in temperature. Because more than 23 million Americans experience impaired lung function that often indicates COPD, it’s important to share information about the condition and what seniors and their families may do to ensure proper treatment. 

Testing & Diagnosis 

If you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms, it’s a good idea for your aging loved one to get checked out. There are a few tests a doctor may perform, including chest X-rays and lung function tests, that may rule out other conditions. There are no specific tests that may determine if someone has COPD. The diagnosis is based on symptoms, health history, a current physical, and results from tests such as those listed above. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care service families may trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Understanding the Diagnosis 

COPD is a progressive condition that becomes worse through stages. While there’s no cure, COPD may be treated to provide a higher level of comfort. Seniors may be prescribed medication in the form of pills or inhalers to decrease inflammation in the lungs, and a primary care doctor will often recommend seeing a pulmonologist, a physician specializing in diseases and disorders involving the lungs. The goal of the treatment is to slow down the disease process and avoid what’s referred to as exacerbation, which is when symptoms become worse. 

Aging adults with COPD often find it challenging to accomplish everyday tasks on their own. If your senior loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elder care. Cincinnati seniors may maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable caregivers.

Addressing Symptoms 

Seniors and their families are often worried about the symptoms associated with COPD, as breathing problems may be frightening. In addition to prescribing medications, the doctor may recommend avoiding known irritants and extreme hot or cold temperatures. Pursed-lipped breathing and sitting in the tripod position (leaning forward on the elbows on a table or other hard surface) may also help when a senior is having problems breathing. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that may make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face may be easier to manage if their families opt for professional homecare. Cincinnati families may rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Assisting Hands Home Care. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 513-993-5025 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.