Community Blog

When an Aging Parent Has Emphysema

By Denise Roskamp

Elderly Care in Wellesley MA

Emphysema makes breathing more difficult, and for adult children of seniors with emphysema, this can be scary. To start with, it is recommended to learn as much about emphysema as possible in order to help parents who suffer from the symptoms of this disease.

The reason why people with emphysema have a harder time breathing, according to WebMD.com, is because their muscles have to work harder to get the job done. Even the slightest activity, like walking from the kitchen to the bathroom, can leave an emphysema sufferer short of breath. As the disease progresses, people can experience this shortness of breath even when lying or sitting still.

Other common symptoms of emphysema include:

  • Wheezing: This is when breathing causes a wheezing or whistling sound, particularly upon exhaling. Wheezing is typically caused by inflammation or a narrowed airway.
  • Persistent coughing: Emphysema patients sometimes have a cough that just won't go away.
  • Pain or or tightness in the chest: The disease can cause pain when breathing. The pain in the chest could also be the result of heart disease, according to WebMD.com, since heart disease can result from emphysema.
  • Loss of appetite: Some people experience a loss of appetite as a result of the disease.

Because lung function deteriorates with age whether or not a person has emphysema, it's important to recognize that while emphysema can not be cured, it can be treated. According to WebMD.com, some common treatments for emphysema include:

  • Quitting smoking: To slow down the disease, it's important to stop smoking. Otherwise, the disease could progress rapidly.
  • Avoiding pollution: Another way to slow down the disease is to avoid pollution, this includes poor indoor air quality as well.
  • Taking medications: There are many medications on the market that can treat shortness of breath and control other symptoms of emphysema, such as flare-ups.
  • Staying active: Maintaining an active lifestyle to the best of one's ability is important for keeping the disease from getting worse.

For elderly parents who suffer from emphysema, home care is often the best option for providing quality at home care in the privacy of their own home. While the disease may restrict a loved one's lifestyle, their lifestyle can also be improved at the same time by having a home care professional available to help with caring and compassion.


Source
http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/emphysema-symptoms
http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/tc/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd-treatment-overview

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN WELLESLEY, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.