How to Prevent COPD in People Over 65

Preventing COPD in Aging Adults

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that make breathing more difficult. Commonly affecting older adults, the risk of developing COPD can be reduced by taking some key preventive measures. Here are a few tips that can help your aging loved one prevent COPD. 


Stop Smoking Immediately

According to the National Institutes of Health, cigarettes are the number one cause of COPD. Even the occasional cigarette or cigar can cause a painful and potentially dangerous flare-up if your loved one is predisposed to COPD. Seniors who are having a difficult time quitting should speak with their doctors about patches, injections, and other professional treatment options.

If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of homecare services. Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.


Avoid Secondhand Smoke

When it comes to respiratory diseases like COPD, constant exposure to secondhand smoke can be just as dangerous as smoking. Family members and friends who smoke should be asked to step outside far away from vents and windows when they’re going to have a cigarette. They should also wash their hands and clothes as often as possible so they don’t bring lingering carcinogens back into your loved one’s home.


Have the Home’s Air Quality Tested

Many older homes contain building materials and irritants that can damage the lungs and cause chronic respiratory conditions. Seniors who spend most of their time in their homes might be constantly exposed to these dangerous chemicals at all hours of the day. Many HVAC companies offer comprehensive indoor air quality testing and can help your loved one come up with a plan to increase his or her air quality if any chemicals are detected.

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 Columbia families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


Get an Annual Flu Shot

Respiratory viruses not only increase the risk of developing COPD, but they also exacerbate the side effects in seniors who have already been diagnosed with this disease. Anyone who is over age 65 or has a compromised immune system should speak with his or her doctor about annual flu and pneumonia shots. Caregivers, family members, and close friends should also get flu shots if they’re going to spend quite a bit of time with your loved one. 

Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing serious illnesses and require more extensive live-in care. Columbia seniors can count on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today.