Caregiving for Seniors with COPD

Woman in white jacket Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD is a chronic health condition that affects seniors breathing, mobility and ability to perform daily activities. Caregivers can impact health outcomes for seniors with COPD. Here are five ways that caregivers make a difference in senior’s health.
Providing assistance with activities of daily living.

For many seniors with COPD, activity aggravates their symptoms. Wearing supplemental oxygen also hinders mobility. Caregivers can make a difference by assisting seniors with their activities of daily living to help prevent exertional shortness of breath. 

Supporting mental health.
Family baking a cake
Social isolation, depression, and anxiety impact physical health. Caregivers can help support senior mental wellbeing by providing compassionate companionship, daily activities learning a new art project together. Seniors with COPD are impacted by caregiver’s support of mental health.
Providing meals that meet prescribed dietary requirements.

For many seniors with COPD, the walking, movement, and standing that are involved in meal preparation worsen symptoms of shortness of breath. Ready-made meals are often do not meet the dietary requirements of a heart-healthy diet. Caregivers can help seniors create a weekly menu, do shopping for food, and cooking nutritious meals for seniors. 

Maintaining a clean environment.
Elderly couple with medicine
Dust, pet dander or smoke can worsen COPD symptoms. Caregivers can perform light housekeeping to help maintain a clean environment to reduce symptoms.
Support lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, and daily exercise can support healthy goals. Caregivers support seniors in making changes to reach their health goals.

Fried, T. R., Vaz Fragoso, C. A., & Rabow, M. W. (2012). Caring for the older person with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Journal American Medical Association, 308(12), 1254–1263.