Respiratory diseases like COPD, emphysema, lung cancer, and asthma affect millions of seniors. When seniors are aging in place they may struggle to manage the symptoms of respiratory disease, especially in the summer when the weather is hot and humid. Seniors who have trouble breathing should have home care providers that can help them with chores, monitor their supplemental oxygen, and do their shopping or errands for them so that seniors don’t need to go out.
High humidity can make it difficult for seniors to breathe if they have a chronic respiratory disease or if they struggle with allergies. All over the country cities and towns are experiencing record heat and humidity levels.
Seniors who are trying to manage a respiratory condition and make it through the humid summer should try these things:
Stay Indoors During Peak Humidity
Seniors with respiratory disease should void going outdoors during times of the day when humidity levels are highest, typically in the late afternoon or early evening. Instead, schedule outdoor activities during the cooler and less humid parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.
Use Air Conditioning
Keep the living space cool and comfortable by using air conditioning. Air conditioners can help reduce indoor humidity levels and provide a more breathable environment for seniors with respiratory disease. Seniors that don’t have central air conditioning may want to consider having it installed. But a window air conditioning can help keep a senior’s home cool. Home care can help seniors install window units if necessary.
Use a Dehumidifier
Seniors who have breathing problems should consider using a dehumidifier in the home to reduce excess moisture from the air. A dehumidifier can be particularly beneficial in areas with high humidity levels. The average home should have a humidity level that is 50% or lower to help seniors breathe.
Seniors that have respiratory illnesses must stay well-hydrated, especially in humid weather. Drinking enough water can help thin mucus and make it easier to clear the airways.
Humid weather can worsen respiratory symptoms. Triggers can make it even tougher for seniors to breathe indoors. Seniors should try to avoid exposure to smoke, strong odors, and other irritants that can irritate their lungs or make it tough to breathe.
Practice Controlled Breathing
Engaging in breathing exercises, such as pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing, can help seniors manage their breathlessness in humid weather. These techniques can improve oxygen exchange and reduce the feeling of breathlessness.
Use Portable Oxygen
For seniors who require supplemental oxygen, it’s essential to use their prescribed portable oxygen device as directed by their healthcare provider, especially in humid weather when breathing may be more challenging. Seniors who are finding it tough to breathe this summer because of the humidity should talk to their doctor about getting put on supplemental oxygen.
Keep Medications Handy
Seniors with COPD or other respiratory illnesses should always have their rescue inhaler and other prescribed medications readily available, particularly when going outdoors in humid conditions. Quick access to medications can be crucial in managing sudden breathing difficulties.
Make Indoor Air Quality Improvements
Ensuring good indoor air quality can make a significant difference for seniors with COPD. Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to remove allergens and airborne irritants that may worsen respiratory symptoms.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Home Care Services in Berkeley Heights NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today.
Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris, and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.
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