Tips for Helping a Loved One Living With COPD

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COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is the term for two lung diseases: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Essentially, for people living with COPD, breathing is severely affected by an airflow obstruction. Common symptoms include an excessively wet cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest.

By 2030, the World Bank and World Health Organization estimates that COPD will be the third leading cause of death globally. COPD as an economic problem is a top cause of disability-induced unemployment.  

You, as a family caregiver, are on the front line of relieving this burden. Even though there is no cure, COPD can be treated, and your caregiving is crucial to an effective treatment program. San Diego Home Caregivers, a provider of home care services in La Mesa and the surrounding areas, recommends diet, exercise, and environmental maintenance as ways in which you can substantially assist someone who is living with COPD. 

Diet

A healthy diet provides people with COPD with the energy and extra calories necessary to combat chest infections and to deal with their more labored breathing. Planning and preparing meals and otherwise advising your loved one concerning which foods to include are important ways you can help.  

Lethargy often prevents those with COPD from consuming enough calories. Starting the day with a more substantial, more nutrient-dense meal when the individual you love has the most energy to eat can be helpful. Following that with smaller meals during the day will not only help maintain calories, but also prevent the person from feeling too full, which can make it more difficult to breathe. 

Although a morning cup of coffee may once have been the normal routine, unfortunately caffeine can react negatively to COPD medications and cause restlessness or nervousness, leading to exacerbated symptoms. Additionally, help the senior stay away from foods high in salt, as water retention caused by salt also makes for tougher breathing.

Exercise 

Regular physical activity is fundamental for effective COPD symptom management. Generally, it enhances endurance and increases blood circulation, making for better use of oxygen. Upper body exercises help with breathing and the ability to perform daily activities. Lower body exercises such as stair climbing and treadmill or track walking have also proven to benefit those with COPD. 

Breathing exercises, such as pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing, result in stronger breathing muscles, increased oxygen, and all-around easier breathing. An ideal plan consists of sessions of five to ten minutes, three to four times each day.

Environmental Maintenance

Finally, it’s also wise to think about environmental concerns in the senior’s home, especially as they relate to air quality. A good place to start is to keep the individual’s home properly ventilated through exhaust fans, open windows, and filtration systems. However, windows should remain shut during poor air quality days and dusty conditions, such as construction projects. Also, sustaining a balanced humidity level counters dry air from home heating systems and discourages irritating pests that are attracted to more humid conditions.

Avoiding or managing very cold air, fireplace and cigarette smoke, and other air pollutants are ways you can best serve a loved one with COPD, as does reducing the use of personal care products like perfumes, hair sprays, and lotions.

Housekeeping can go a long way towards minimizing irritants in the home. Eliminate and properly store dust-collecting clutter. Weekly bed linen laundering minimizes dust mites, as does keeping rugs and carpets vacuumed and floors clean. At the same time, reducing exposure to harsh household cleaning products and other chemicals, including air fresheners, is essential. 

Find more tips on helping a person living with COPD to enjoy the healthiest possible life and how our in-home caregivers can work together with you to ensure quality, seamless care. Contact us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our home care services in La Mesa and the surrounding areas.

Strengthen the Diaphragm With Breathing Exercises for COPD

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These breathing exercises for COPD can help ease symptoms of the disease.

COPD can make the daily tasks of life feel like a struggle. The positive news is that there are breathing exercises for COPD that may help ease the symptoms and enhance quality of life. San Diego Home Caregivers, a leading provider of in-home care in Carlsbad and the surrounding areas, recommends these exercises to help strengthen the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, so those with COPD can take in more oxygen and put less effort into breathing.  Read more

Answer These Questions Before Moving a Senior From Assisted Living

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Moving a senior from an assisted living facility requires careful consideration of a number of factors.

The rampage of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities was devastating, as the virus spread throughout our most vulnerable population in such close living quarters. As a result, many families considered moving a senior from assisted living into their own home, which raised a number of challenges.  Read more

How to Ensure a Safer Recovery at Home for Seniors

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Recovery at home for seniors after a hospitalization is safer and more comfortable with the help of home care services.

Recovery at home for seniors after a hospitalization takes time. Not merely do older bodies take more time to mend, but there are further considerations that can arise: reduced mobility and numerous instructions to follow for dietary restrictions, medications, follow-up appointments, and physical activities, just to name a few.  Read more

Simple Fall Prevention Exercises Seniors Can Do at Home

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Reduce the risk of falls with simple fall prevention exercises.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shares that as many as one-third of seniors experience a fall each year, and surprisingly, only half of them bring those falls to the attention of a doctor. When an older adult falls, even if it does not cause a serious injury, it can lead to an elevated fear of falling again. This can cause the person to begin to limit activities and exercise, which leads to reduced mobility and eventually, a greater risk of another fall.  Read more

Senior Fall Prevention Tips for the Home

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Try these senior fall prevention tips and simple home modifications to make life safer for older adults.

Experiencing a fall can be painful for anyone, but for older adults, falling can have devastating results. One of the common effects of a senior fall is a fractured hip, which can lead to even more health problems. Alarmingly, one-fourth of seniors who fracture a hip die in a period of just six months from the time of the injury – a sobering, yet preventable fact. This shows how important it is to take senior fall prevention measures to keep loved ones safe at home. Read more

How to Recognize and Overcome Compassion Fatigue

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Learn to overcome compassion fatigue, which may come on suddenly and negatively impact your health and ability to thrive in a caregiving role.

Family caregivers dedicate so much of themselves to those they care for – both emotionally and physically. It’s easy to become worn down and begin to experience unexpected feelings such as indifference, weariness, and a detachment from the person in your care. Identified as compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress, it may be detrimental to your own wellness but could also impact your ability to be as caring, warm, and nurturing as you should be for the person you’re caring for. Read more

Find Answers to Our Most Frequently Asked Home Care Questions

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Discover the answers to your home care questions.

You’re beginning to become concerned that Mom might be in need of some professional help at home, and so naturally, you know just where to go for assistance, right? No? Rest assured – you are not alone. Millions of people in the U.S. are faced with the same predicament, and most people have a lot of home care questions they need answered right away.

If you’re in the beginning stages of investigating home care options, it’s helpful to have some understanding of what exactly home care is and how it works. To assist you through this journey, the professional team at San Diego Home Caregivers, the top-rated private caregiver in La Mesa and surrounding areas, has pulled together some commonly asked questions about home care, along with the appropriate answers to help you make better, more knowledgeable care decisions for your loved one.

Q: Can Medicare cover the cost for long-term in-home care?

A: No. Even though it’s true that Medicare might pay for some home health care costs within very specific parameters, it was never meant to cover long-term in-home care.

Q: Is it less expensive to hire a caregiver independently than working together with a professional home care company?

A: No. While at first it might seem that hiring a caregiver independently is more affordable than hiring a caregiver through a professional home care agency, there are numerous unrevealed costs when hiring an independent caregiver. For instance, with an independently hired caregiver, you are the caregiver’s employer, meaning it is your duty to cover the cost for taxes, worker’s compensation, and more. When working through a home care agency, you do not have to worry about or cover the cost for any of these things.

Q: Is home care the right choice for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease?

A: Yes. San Diego Home Caregivers provides highly skilled, compassionate Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Our caregivers receive ongoing training on how to provide the highest quality support to older adults, offering families much-needed breaks from care and peace of mind.

Q: What do ADL and IADL stand for?

A: ADL refers to Activities of Daily Living, or activities that take place every day, such as taking a shower, dressing, transferring from the bed to a chair, walking, etc. IADL stands for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, and covers such activities as managing household expenses, shopping, using the telephone, etc. ADLs and IADLs are evaluated when determining which level of care is best suited for a senior.

San Diego Home Caregivers can help older adults with both ADLs and IADLs, which results in safer, more comfortable, and more independent lives at home.

We know you probably have some additional home care questions, and we’re always here to provide the answers you need. You can reach us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our home care services and dementia care in La Mesa, CA and the surrounding areas.

Top Six Benefits of Home Care for Seniors

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beefits of home care reading to senior disabled man

Learn some of the top reasons home care is best for seniors.

As we grow older, it is common to start to be affected by challenges with daily activities, including showering, dressing, fixing meals, and even driving a vehicle. This can result in the fear of having to give up not just our freedom, but our home as well. Yet there is encouraging news for older individuals: home care services, like those provided by San Diego Home Caregivers, can help actually increase independence for seniors and help them continue residing at home where they are most comfortable.

And the reality is, these days, the majority of older adults are deciding to receive the care they need at home. To help you better comprehend exactly what home care is, we’ve provided the following benefits of home care for seniors:

  • Home care services are delivered on an individual basis, leading to more personal attention than in a nursing home or assisted living facility. There is never the need to have to wait your turn when care is needed.
  • A caregiver in the home can help encourage a healthier way of living. Professional caregivers are skilled in planning and preparing nourishing and delicious meals that are appealing to the individual and can also help keep track of the amount of food consumed.
  • A customized, ongoing exercise regimen can be implemented and carried out with the help of a caregiver, providing the extra safety measure of a qualified professional being present during exercising.
  • Home care strengthens self-esteem and independence, essential factors for a fulfilling lifestyle. Home care (in particular, private pay home care) ensures personalized care specific to the needs of the family and senior on any given day, whether the need is as simple as companionship, or more complex, such as help with personal care needs.
  • The additional benefit of accompanied transportation to and from medical appointments, social events or running errands means that families have the opportunity for more quality time together.
  • The recent pandemic brought to the forefront how dangerous senior isolation can be to both physical and emotional health. An in-home caregiver offers necessary socialization opportunities and the chance for seniors to have a companion at the ready to avoid loneliness and depression, through interesting conversations and reminiscing, fun activities, participation in enjoyable hobbies and interests, and more.

We would love the chance to chat with you and your family more about the benefits of our home care services. Call San Diego Home Caregivers, the leading provider of home care assistance in La Jolla and surrounding areas, at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our trusted home care services for seniors.

Talking With Your Kids When You Have Mesothelioma

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Cute young daughter embracing her mother with love

Mesothelioma takes between 20 and 50 years to develop. Due to this long latency period, the asbestos-caused cancer affects middle-aged and elderly people most often. Read more