There are some health conditions that are quite common in the elderly. As a family caregiver, learning about these issues can help you to better provide or get care for your elderly loved one. One set of health problems that you may want to learn more about are regarding your elderly loved one’s respiratory health.
One of the common respiratory health issues in the elderly is COPD. This is a lung disorder and it causes difficulty breathing. Two of the main types of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In a lot of the COPD cases, cigarette smoking was the primary cause of this condition. If your elderly loved one is currently a smoker, it would be a good idea to help them to stop smoking as soon as possible. You or an in-home care provider can even take your elderly loved one to their doctor to get nicotine cessation products. These can help them to quit a bit easier.
Your elderly loved one could get pneumonia, as well. This condition is more common in the elderly than in other age populations. When this condition occurs, it attacks the lungs. The infection can spread quickly. Some symptoms that you might notice include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Breathing issues
If you or an in-home care provider suspects your elderly loved one has pneumonia, you should make sure they get medical attention right away.
Another common respiratory health condition in the elderly is bronchial asthma. This is an inflammatory condition that causes difficulty breathing. Sometimes it can cause the following symptoms, as well:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
The attacks with this condition can last hours or days. If your elderly loved one has a bronchial asthma attack, it could become severe quickly. It is important that you or an in-home care provider get them the medical attention they need right away.
There are many respiratory health conditions that are common in the elderly. Now that you know about some of them, you can be more prepared to help your elderly loved one if they do get these conditions.
It is important to keep in mind that many of these conditions can turn severe very quickly. This is why it is crucial that you or an in-home care provider get your elderly loved one the medical attention they need right away.