Did you know that COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.? As a caregiver of an aging loved one in the Bay Area it’s important to know the facts about this combination of progressive lung diseases, and the symptoms when the condition is worsening.
Approximately 15 million people throughout the country have COPD, although most of them aren’t even aware of it. Some of the diseases that culminate to become COPD include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and non-reversible asthma. Many seniors assume the shortness of breath and coughing they experience are simply a part of the aging process, however these are the classic characteristics that define COPD. Other symptoms include a tight feeling in the chest and wheezing.
While this is a common issue among smokers, they’re not the only ones who develop COPD. People who work in environments where chemicals, dust, or fumes are often present may also become victims of this deadly condition.
Caregivers can help monitor the condition of those they care for, so that seniors can continue to live an independent lifestyle and seek medical care when they need it. Some of the symptoms of worsening COPD you should watch for include waking at night due to a shortness of breath; increased chest pains due to coughing; coughing up bloody, yellow, or green mucus; increased fatigue; a difficult time breathing when engaging in normal activities; and hands or feet that appear swollen.
Certain treatments can help seniors live a more fulfilled life with COPD, including oxygen therapy, exercise, bronchodilators, and pulmonary rehabilitation. These treatments often slow down the progression of the disease and make breathing easier.
At Care Indeed our San Francisco Bay Area senior caregivers are dedicated to providing compassionate care. For all of your caregiving needs, trust our staff to go beyond your expectations.