Community Blog

How Can You Tell When Your Elderly Loved One's Lungs Need More Attention?

By Ketan Shah

Home Care in Santa Clara CA

Being able to spot the signs that your loved one's lungs are worsening is essential, especially if she's in the earlier stages of COPD. The sooner that you can get her help for her, the more likely that you can help to improve those symptoms for her.

Shortness of Breath

A certain amount of shortness of breath can be attributed to being out of shape and overexertion, but when it's happening often and when simply walking around the house, there could be a bigger cause. Start paying attention to how often your loved one is finding herself short of breath and how long the situation is lasting.

Frequent Coughing that Becomes Worse over Time

As COPD worsens, the lungs become more inflamed and the lungs have a much more difficult time clearing mucus. The lungs also become less flexible, which contributes to the build-up of mucus. Your loved one may cough up mucus, but if she's still smoking, that's actually less likely. Your loved one will actually experience fewer problems with mucus while smoking.

Edema in the Legs

Edema, or fluid gathering in the legs, is a sign that your loved one's circulatory system isn't working as well as it needs to be working. It can also indicate that your loved one isn't getting enough oxygen to her extremities. If you notice edema in your loved one's lower extremities, bring it to her doctor's attention right away.

Problems Sleeping

When your loved one lays down to sleep at night, she may actually have more trouble breathing. That in turn can give her problems sleeping. If she's coughing a lot at night, that can also interrupt her sleep. Your loved one's doctor can help narrow down the causes for poor sleep, enabling your loved one to get the rest that she needs.

Work with your loved one's doctors and home care providers to spot as many of these potential problems as possible. The more quickly you can recognize potential problems, the more quickly you can alert your loved one's doctors to the issue. 

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Santa Clara, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.