COPD Management Tips for Older Adults

senior man holding oxygen mask

These COPD management techniques can help seniors with COPD live fuller, more active lives.

Too often, we take our ability to breathe freely for granted. However, for many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the simple act of taking a breath can feel like a struggle. COPD affects an estimated 30 million people in the US. While there is not currently a cure for the disease, with treatment and daily management techniques, it is possible to slow the progression and reduce symptoms.

The following COPD management tips can help seniors continue to live active and engaged lives:

  1. Quit smoking. If you’ve never smoked, your body thanks you. However, if you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do to help slow the progression of COPD. Kicking the habit may seem challenging, but over 3 million Americans quit every year. Talk to your doctor about medications, nicotine replacements, and other techniques that can help you quit.
  2. Exercise. When it’s hard to breathe, exercise can feel nearly impossible. However, regular exercise helps to strengthen the lungs and improve lung capacity. Start slow by taking short walks and gradually increase the distance each day. Speak with your doctor to see what types of exercises are recommended for you.
  3. Get plenty of rest. Rest is very important for overall health. It helps your body heal and it ensures that you have energy for daily tasks.
  4. Get vaccinated. People with COPD are at a much higher risk for infections from pneumonia, the flu, and COVID-19. Get any vaccine that your doctor recommends and be sure to wash your hands to prevent the spread of infections.
  5. Take your prescribed medications. Most seniors with COPD take medications to help with breathing problems. Your drug treatment plan is tailored to your needs, so it is extremely important to take all your medications on time. If anything feels off, talk to your doctor about possible side effects from your medications as a change may be needed.
  6. Consider oxygen therapy. If breathing issues get worse, oxygen can help. COPD decreases the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen, which means it can’t get to the rest of the body. This makes it harder for your body to work and you may feel tired a lot. Oxygen therapy makes breathing easier and can allow you to do more every day.

COPD can present challenges for seniors, but it doesn’t have to keep you from living a happy, healthy life. Visiting Care Giving Services’ experts in St. Charles elder care can help seniors with COPD stay healthy, active, and engaged in a number of ways. Our team of caregivers can plan and prepare nutritious meals, provide medication reminders, pick up prescriptions, assist with exercise routines, and much more.

Give us a call today at (636) 493-9058 to learn more about our St. Charles elder care services or to schedule a free in-home assessment. Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the communities where we provide care.