COPD stands for a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It’s essentially a blanket term that covers several chronic lung diseases. Many cases appear after the age of 65, so it’s something that can happen to your elderly parent whether or not he or she ever smoked. November is National COPD Month and a good time to learn more.
Senior Care in Williamstown NJ: Dad’s COPD Diagnosis
Diseases That Fall Under COPD as a Blanket Term
Just as Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, there are diseases that are a type of COPD. They include:
-Chronic Bronchitis – Inflammation of the bronchial airways that damages the cilia and makes it harder to expel mucus.
-Emphysema – Air sacs within the lungs get stretched out of shape, which leads to an issue pushing out old air and bringing in new air.
-Non-Reversible Asthma – A form of asthma that isn’t improved with asthma medications.
Common signs of COPD are breathlessness, persistent coughing, shortness of breath, a tightness in the chest, and wheezing. An early diagnosis is best. If your dad notices breathlessness or is coughing a lot, he should see a doctor.
What if He is Diagnosed With COPD?
Talk to your dad. It may help to join him on a trip to see his doctor. If he agrees to let you discuss his medical condition, he needs to fill out the HIPAA paperwork so that his doctor knows. He may also need to get a medical power of attorney in place so that you can make medical decisions for him if he’s unable to do it.
Bring a list of questions to his doctor. You can ask them during the appointment. Jot down anything your dad asks you in private that he hasn’t asked his doctor. It’s a good time to discuss medications and benefits of a respiratory therapist, too.
Things Your Dad May Struggle With After His Diagnosis
Shortness of breath, coughing, and tightness in the chest are going to be alarming at first. Your dad may be scared. Companionship is important. It’s less scary facing a new disease if you have someone with you during the day. It’s unlikely you can quit your job to spend all day with him, but you can hire a caregiver to keep him company.
Doing some household chores can also be challenging. When breathlessness is present, it’s hard to find the energy to run a vacuum, carry laundry up and down stairs, and really scrub a bathtub, sinks, and toilet. Senior care includes services like light housekeeping and laundry, so you can hire someone to do those tasks for your dad.
Supportive care is essential after a COPD diagnosis. Don’t let your dad struggle with aging at home. Hire senior care services designed to assist him at home. He may find it beneficial to have caregivers helping with housework, appointments, and meals. Call a senior care agency to arrange an assessment.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Williamstown, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Attentive Care Inc. 1-800-493-5660
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