Seniors who experience shortness of breath or wheeze when they breathe may have asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease that, when triggered, causes the airways to inflame, swell, and narrow. Extra mucus is produced during an attack, making breathing difficult. Special care is needed for older adults who live every day with asthma.
A primary goal of any asthma care plan is to avoid triggering allergens. Inside, this might mean additional cleaning to avoid dust buildup. Cleaning HVAC ductwork and using air purifiers may help. Seniors with asthma should avoid going outside when pollen counts are high. Over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications may prevent attacks.
Seniors and their caregivers need to keep track of what triggers their attacks and the treatments that work to alleviate them. A daily diary detailing everything leading up to and following asthma attacks is recommended to make sure an accurate report can be given to the doctor to ensure a correct diagnosis and the best possible treatment.
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Visit the Doctor Regularly
Regular visits to the doctor are a vital part of an asthma care plan for seniors. Even those with only mild symptoms need to be monitored on a regular basis to ensure proper treatment. Seniors with mild asthma should visit the doctor at least yearly, while quarterly visits are recommended for seniors who experience moderate attacks. Learning how to address a senior’s asthma symptoms, either through holistic practices or prescribed medication, is essential for a healthy life.
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Take Medications as Prescribed
The typical prescription medications for asthma are albuterol and steroids. Albuterol normally comes in the form of an aerosol inhaler and is used only during an asthma attack. Oral steroids are taken on a regular basis, but only for a temporary period.
Asthma medications may have adverse interactions with other medications. Aspirin, NSAIDS, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors are known to interact with albuterol. A full and complete list of prescription and over-the-counter medications your loved one takes should be given to his or her doctor.
Use Natural Remedies
Asthma care plans should include holistic options whenever possible to avoid complications from interactions with prescribed medications. A natural approach concentrates on limiting exposure to allergens and reducing muscle spasms in the airways. Solutions include using air purifiers to reduce airborne particles, testing for food allergies, and taking magnesium supplements or drinking green tea to reduce spasms.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of elder care Phoenix seniors can depend on. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today.