Throughout most of his life, Jack was considered a heavy smoker. Even though he knew the risks, he didn’t pay much attention to them. He just assumed that he would be fine. However, he developed COPD and it has caused him a significant amount of distress.
COPD is a lung condition that is most commonly the result of smoking. It causes people with this condition to have difficulty breathing. It is estimated to affect more than 24 million people in the United States and is the third leading cause of death in the country.
During the earliest stages of the disease, the individual may experience breathlessness when doing a physical activity. Over time, they may have trouble breathing even when at rest.
Hiring an elder care provider can be an effective way of helping a patient deal with the stressful symptoms of this disease. The vast majority of people diagnosed with COPD will have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
It is important to note, however, that even though more than 80 percent of COPD cases that have been diagnosed are the result of smoking, there are still several million people who never smoked that will contract this disease.
An elder care provider can do some things to help alleviate the symptoms for the patient.
Using an inhaler.
If the patient has an inhaler prescribed to them by their doctor, it’s a good idea for the caregiver to know where it is. If the patient begins to suffer from some of the symptoms and struggles to breathe, he or she may not be able to tell the caregiver where to get their inhaler.
Make sure that the caregiver knows where this is. Jack’s caregiver didn’t know and he had an episode that became almost critical as a result of the fact that he couldn’t get to his inhaler in time.
A doctor may recommend the use of an expectorant to help expel mucus in the lungs. A person who is coughing up mucus should not be given a cough suppressant unless the coughing becomes a serious problem on its own.
A person who is experiencing any type of COPD symptoms will likely become extremely stressed by the episode. Being there to offer emotional support can be highly effective, as long as the patient has access to their inhaler or anything else that can alleviate the symptoms quickly. Jack was grateful for the elder care provider he hired for that very reason.
For more information about how the caregivers at La Jolla Nurses Homecare can help your aging parents remain living independently in their own homes, call 858-454-9339 . We are an elder agency providing quality and affordable home care service near Coronado CA, and the surrounding communities.