Health Spotlight: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD, or chronic obstructive lung disease, affects millions of Americans, although it is more frequent in the elderly. According to research, roughly 10% of Americans aged 75 and over have COPD, and the actual figure can be higher because many instances go undetected. COPD is a progressive condition with no cure at the moment, but there is therapy available to ease symptoms and enhance the quality of life.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) frequently manifests as a slew of illnesses, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Minor air sacs called alveoli are damaged or destroyed in emphysema, decreasing the capacity to properly push air out of the lungs. This can lead to shortness of breath.
Chronic bronchitis causes the airways to become irritated and inflamed, causing them to produce more mucus. This inflammation and mucus accumulation can obstruct the movement of air into and out of the lungs, making breathing difficult.
Symptoms of COPD include:
- Breathing difficulty
- Having trouble taking a deep breath
- Mucus production has increased
- Long-term coughing or wheezing
While smoking is an important risk factor for COPD, genetics, respiratory infections, and extended exposure to air pollution can all play a role.
Impact of COPD on Seniors
COPD can increase the risk of falling and impair elders’ capacity to do everyday duties such as personal care, housework, meal preparation, and errand running. Difficulty breathing can sap their energy, strength, and stability, causing them to wear more quickly. Even simple activities need extra effort.
The illness can harm the quality of life, particularly in older persons with other underlying medical disorders such as visual or hearing impairments, mobility difficulty, arthritis, or dementia. While symptom management can help promote comfort and independence, many seniors can still benefit from in-home care.
How In-Home Care Can Benefit Seniors with COPD
An in-home caregiver can provide the proper support to help seniors preserve as much independence as possible while also keeping them safe as they age in place. In-home care can relieve elders’ stress by helping with light cleaning, picking up groceries or medications, cooking meals, assisting with grooming, and accompanying them on trips or to appointments. A caregiver can also remind elders to take their medicine or utilize supplemental oxygen to control their COPD symptoms, as well as engage with them in simple activities to promote improved health.
Families can also rest easy knowing that a qualified expert is on hand to support their loved one with non-medical requirements and to monitor any changes in their general health or well-being. In-home care services can be custom-made to each senior’s specific requirements, providing a mix of aid and companionship when it is most required.
To learn more or to book a free consultation, call Always Best Care (East Bay) at (925) 210-0323.