Watching a senior loved one suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is difficult. It can be even more difficult for family members who live far away and can’t be with their loved one. Fortunately, family members do not have to stress and worry, hiring a private caregiver with knowledge about the disease is the best solution for these types of circumstances. Here are 5 ways in-home caregivers can assist seniors living with COPD.

Recording Symptoms

 A home health caregiver helping his patient suffering from COPD with an oxygen mask.
Home caregiver holding oxygen mask over a patient’s face.

Seniors with severe COPD might be limited to doing basic activities around the home including walking, cooking, and taking care of their basic personal needs. A private caregiver can take important notes about symptoms the senior might be experiencing during certain activities. These professional caregivers are trained to look for changes such as swelling in the extremities, increased coughing, breathing problems, or exhaustion. These conditions can be discussed with a family member or presented to the health care provider during the senior’s appointment.

Attend Doctor Appointments

Some aging adults often need a bit of help getting to their appointments and taking notes to remember important information discussed during an appointment. Now with COVID-19 posing a greater risk, a caregiver is even more helpful in making sure the senior remembers to wash hands, use hand sanitizer and use a mask when it doesn’t interfere with breathing. The caregiver can be the extra ears needed, and can also ask questions to help better manage the senior’s condition at home.

Helping Avoid Irritants

There are several irritants that can cause a person with COPD condition to worsen. These irritants can irritate the person’s lungs, causing breathing to become very difficult. A caregiver can help seniors avoid these irritants inside and outdoors. When the irritants are unavoidable the caregiver can monitor the senior and get emergency medical help if needed.

Staying Active

It is important to stay active with COPD. However, at the first sign of feeling short of breath; a senior might want to withdraw quickly from the activity. With a caregiver’s encouragement and patience, they can make seniors feel that everything will be alright if they continue the activity a bit longer. Staying active helps strengthen muscles and prevent symptoms from worsening. 

Paying Bills/Household Chores

Caregivers can help seniors pay their bills and make sure each month they are paid on-time. With the senior’s permission; caregivers can even help set up automatic bill payments.  Home health aides help with light housekeeping such as making sure the senior has clean laundry, washed dishes, and a dust-free environment.  Dust can also be a big trigger to seniors with COPD. Caregivers also are there to make sure the senior is eating by preparing nutritional meals each day for the senior. 

The main goal of the caregiver is to help seniors living with COPD to continue to live safely in their home environment. They provide constant monitoring, care management, and would never do anything to put the senior at risk of being left without proper care. To find out more about hiring a home health caregiver for you or a senior loved one, contact us.