COPD flares are terrifying for both you and your aging adult. Here’s what you need to know about a flare with COPD.
Learn What a Flare Looks Like for Your Senior.
Flares with COPD don’t look exactly the same for everyone. There is an element of each flare that is different, especially depending on your senior’s overall health and the types of lung problems she’s had in the past. In general, a flare is going to include more trouble breathing, possibly rapid breathing, and possibly also wheezing. Your elderly family member may also have more coughing, may be fatigued, and could experience swelling in the extremities.
Talk to Her Doctor.
Talk to your senior’s doctor about what a flare could look like for her. Her doctor should also help you to determine what is most likely to trigger a flare for your senior and how you should treat it. There may also be a list that her doctor gives you to help you know when it’s time to seek emergency help. During a flare, your senior’s doctor can help you to determine how bad the flare is.
Keep Rescue Medications Handy.
Rescue medications are medications that your elderly family member takes when she needs help with her breathing quickly. These might be inhaled medications or they might be oral versions. What they have in common is that they are designed to be fast-acting medications that should give your senior immediate, if short-acting, relief. This can buy you time to determine if further medical treatment is necessary.
Develop an Emergency Plan.
It’s really important for you to have an emergency plan in place for COPD flares. The first step is assessing the flare and getting rescue medications into your senior’s system. If the situation is severe, for example if your elderly family member’s lips or fingernails are turning blue or she’s dizzy, then emergency treatment is necessary. Also, if your elderly family member can’t take her rescue medication, this increases the urgency of the situation.
Conservation of Energy Is Important Always.
Helping your senior to avoid flares can seem complicated at first. Avoiding unnecessary germ exposure and sticking to medication schedules definitely helps. Conservation of energy is also a vital part of the plan, though. Your senior is burning a lot of energy just trying to breathe. Solutions such as hiring home care providers to take over light housekeeping and other daily tasks helps your senior to spend her energy where it’s most needed.
Make sure that you have as much information as possible about how to care for your aging adult before, during, and after a COPD flare. You may not be able to fully prevent a flare, but you can help your elderly family member to deal with it as well as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional home care in Birmingham, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
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