If your elderly family member is having more difficulty breathing than usual, she may have asthma. It’s important that if you suspect that your senior has asthma that you learn as much as you can about the condition and get confirmation from her doctor.
Asthma Is a Breathing Problem
Asthma occurs when your senior’s lungs aren’t able to draw in oxygen the same way that they have in the past. In some people with asthma, their lungs or breathing passages swell up or produce excess mucus. Other people find that their breathing passages or even their lungs constrict, making breathing more difficult. Your senior could even have a combination of all of these issues. Your elderly family member might describe asthma as difficulty breathing, as wheezing, or even as if she’s trying to breathe underwater.
Asthma Later in Life
You might be surprised to find that plenty of people never have any issues with asthma for their entire lives and then suddenly develop issues. While lots of people who have asthma are diagnosed as children, older adults can develop breathing problems, too. If your elderly family member has had mild asthma throughout her life, she might have gone undiagnosed until her symptoms became much worse.
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms of asthma include wheezing or whistling sounds as your senior tries to breathe. She might also cough a lot or be short of breath, even when she’s sitting still. Your senior might even describe a tight or painful feeling in her chest, either when she’s trying to breathe or constantly. Asthma symptoms can be milder at certain times of day than at others. For instance, after your senior exerts herself, she might feel symptoms more strongly than she does when she’s at rest. She might even experience no symptoms at all when she’s at rest.
Diagnosing and Treating Asthma
Your senior’s doctor takes her medical history, her symptoms, and the results of any testing done to come to a diagnosis. This is necessary to rule out any other potential health conditions rather than asthma and to develop the right treatment plan. Depending on the diagnosis, your senior may take medications, some of which might be inhaled medications. Hiring home care providers can be helpful during this process because they can help her to adjust to any changes to her daily routine and watch for side effects from her new medications.
Recognizing asthma for what it is and getting treatment plans in place is crucial. Your elderly family member can live a healthy and happy life, even with asthma. She’ll definitely be more comfortable with the right treatments in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in West Trenton, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.