The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute estimates that 16 million Americans have one of the common forms of chronic lung disease. While COPD accounts for 16 million people with chronic lung disease, you also have asthma that accounts for another 25 million.
Those are just two of the common forms of lung disease. There are others like lung cancer and pulmonary hypertension. If your dad is diagnosed with one of the most common chronic lung diseases, he needs elder care services at home.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic lung diseases. It often starts in childhood, but it can start later in life. Medications ease the discomfort and struggle to get a breath. Tightness, wheezing, and coughing are common symptoms.
If your dad has asthma, he needs to reduce stress. He also needs to keep allergens within his home down as they can trigger an attack. Hardwood or laminate floors can help keep dust and other allergens at lower levels. Caregivers can do this for him by sweeping and dusting each day.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occurs when the lungs become inflamed. This triggers the production of mucus and thickens the lung walls. Air sacs have less room to draw oxygen and push out carbon dioxide. Exposure to dust and fumes at work is one reason COPD happens. Air pollution and secondhand smoke are other risk factors.
There is no cure, but regular appointments with a doctor will monitor the conditions and help slow the progression through treatments like oxygen therapy and bronchodilators. Elder care aides help with housework, encourage your dad to do his exercises, and bring him to appointments.
The risk for lung cancer increases in smokers and those who inhale chemicals regularly. If your dad has lung cancer, weight loss, shortness of breath, a nagging cough, and wheezing are common symptoms. Treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.
After the surgery, your dad will need help doing things around his home. He will need someone to clean his home, do his laundry, and cook his meals. He may not feel great and will want someone around to drive him to medical appointments and run errands for him. Elder care services can arrange this.
Pulmonary hypertension is a form of high blood pressure that targets the lungs. Blood vessels that travel between the lungs and heart become narrow and stiff. This makes the heart work harder to get blood into the lungs. The added force increases the pressure of the blood within the lungs.
There’s no cure. Treatments to lower blood pressure are important. Prescription medications are one way doctors help patients with pulmonary hypertension. Your dad will need to remember to take his medications each day. Caregivers from an elder care agency offer these reminders.
If you are considering elder care in Paw Paw, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!