Community Blog

How Does COPD Affect Your Senior at Home?

By Ketan Shah

You probably already know that can make breathing difficult, but you may not realize just how much it can affect normal everyday tasks for your senior. Modifying some of these tasks or finding another way to get them done could be the right answer.

Daily Household Tasks

Some of the regular household tasks that your senior handles every day can actually wear her out more than she realizes. Tasks that she's done for years, like making her bed, can cause your elderly family member to experience shortness of breath very easily. Encourage her to take her time when she's doing these kinds of tasks and to rest when she needs to.

Preparing Food

Lifting foods, kitchen implements, and heavy pots can be a problem for a senior with COPD. Even standing for too long to chop vegetables and to stir foods as they cook can also take a toll. Encourage your elderly family member to sit at a table to chop food or to do other prep work for meals. Be sure that you make a switch to lighter pots and pans, too.

Tackling Laundry

Laundry machines can be difficult to access, particularly if they're front-loading machines. This is because bending over places pressure on your senior's lungs, keeping them from expanding as much as they need to expand. Rolling laundry carts and pedestals for laundry machines can help a lot.


Cleaning is one of those tasks that your senior might want to do vigorously, but that can wear her out quickly. If your senior takes cleaning more slowly and avoids chemicals that irritate her lungs, she may be able to do more than she thinks. Another trick is to use long-handled tools, such as brooms and mops. These help her to keep herself more upright, which allows her lungs to fill as much as possible.


Shopping when it's busy or when your elderly family member needs to hurry is a recipe for disaster for her. Instead, look for the days and times of day that are typically less crowded and schedule shopping trips for those times. It might also be a good idea to consider grocery delivery as a substitute for actually going out to the store at all.

Finding ways for your elderly family member to cope with COPD that is worsening or temporarily creating issues is imperative. Consider hiring elderly care providers to take over some of these activities for your senior. That can help her to conserve her energy as much as possible.

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