3 Ways To Help Your Loved One Breathe Easier
Posted: 10/1/2022 10:30 AM by
Being a caregiver for an aging loved one with chronic respiratory issues comes with its own unique set of challenges. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) sufferers know what it means to struggle to breathe–it’s scary for them. But you can help.
If you’re caring for someone with chronic respiratory issues, here are three things you can do to help your loved one breathe easier.
1. Understand the importance of a clean environment
Following prescribed therapies and ensuring your loved one is taking their medication properly is key when caring for someone with COPD. Keeping your loved one’s environment as clean as possible at all times is just as important. A clean environment can help reduce your loved one’s risk of infection and improve the quality of the air they’re breathing.
You can also help reduce your loved one’s risk of infection by following many of the same tips you probably followed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These precautions include:
- Be sure that highly touched surfaces are cleaned regularly
- Be sure to use cleaning supplies that do not trigger a COPD flare-up
- Wash your hands and make sure your loved one washes their hands often, as well
- Ask visitors to wear a mask if they think could be sick
It’s also important that you do everything you can to improve the quality of air that your loved one is breathing. If at all possible, limit your loved one’s exposure to the following common COPD triggers in the home that could lead to a flare-up:
- Cigarette smoke
- Air pollution
- Dust and gas cooking fumes
- Chemicals in industrial environments
- Cleaning products
- Hairspray, perfume and lotion
- Scented candles and deodorizers
- Bug spray and insecticides
- Really hot, cold or humid temperatures
- Respiratory infections
- Emotional upset
2. Educate yourself about the disease
Caregivers play a significant part in keeping their loved ones with COPD as healthy as possible. And as a caregiver, it all starts with understanding COPD, what triggers it and knowing how you can help your loved one manage it. Our Interim HealthCare COPD Caregiver’s Guide is packed with important information that can help you, so you can help your loved one.
This guide is designed to educate family members about COPD and the integral role that medication, diet, exercise, energy conservation and stress management play in the care process. With a solid understanding of their disease and the care regimens required to manage it, you will be equipped to help your loved one improve their quality of life and move towards effective self-care while keeping their COPD symptoms under control.
When you’re educated, you’re empowered. Doing your research on COPD can make a world of difference in your loved one’s life, as well as yours.
3. Get the help you need at home
If the idea of caring for your loved one and managing their COPD seems too much for you to handle alone, reach out for help. There are a ton of resources that can provide the help you need, and many of them are often covered by insurance.
Interim HealthCare offers specialized home healthcare services for people with COPD. Our skilled team of specialists provides healthcare services in your home. They can help administer medication or therapies and perform health assessments, including blood pressure, oxygen levels, or other vital signs. In addition to medical services, we can also assist with many personal care services in your home, including bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
As a caregiver, you should also become familiar with local DME (durable medical equipment) providers that may be able to help. There are many medical equipment options that your parent may benefit from, including:
- Pulse oximeters
- Supplemental oxygen
- Bi-level positive air pressure (Bi-PAP) machines
At Interim HealthCare, we understand how debilitating COPD can be. However, we believe you can be the support your loved one needs to face each challenge with confidence. As a caregiver, you are such a valuable part of the care process. And as you support your loved one in this journey, we’ll be here to support you, too.
Download our COPD Caregiver’s Guide Here