Basics of COPD

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

March 4, 2016

Elderly Care in Robinson Township PA

If you are on an elderly care journey with a senior who has been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, it is important that you take the time to understand Elderly-Care-in-Robinson-Townshipthe condition.   You can make sure that you are doing what you need to do to help your parent stay as healthy as possible so that he can continue to enjoy as active, healthy, and engaged lifestyle as he can while managing his condition.
COPD is an inflammatory lung disease that results in obstructions in the airflow from the lungs. This condition can cause coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing, and dramatically increase the risk of issues such as heart disease.
Some things that you should know about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease include:

  • COPD is the third leading cause of death throughout the nation
  • More than 11 million people have received a diagnosis of COPD
  • Experts estimate that more than 24 million people actually have the condition but have not yet received a diagnosis
  • COPD is a leading cause of long-term disability
  • COPD greatly increases the chances of early mortality and as there is no cure, the only way that those who have the disease are able to reduce the risk of this mortality is with dedicated management
  • On average, more women die from COPD than men
  • It is not uncommon for a doctor to not immediately think of COPD when examining a woman because there is still a lingering misconception that this is a disease only men suffer. This is why many women are not properly diagnosed until the disease becomes very serious, or are misdiagnosed and undergo treatment for something else before getting properly diagnosed with COPD

It is very common for people to not go in for medical treatment or not discuss issues that they notice that could be indicators of COPD with their doctors because they feel that they are just normal parts of aging. They think that older people always have more difficulty breathing during strenuous activity and that it is common for the elderly to cough or feel short of breath simply because they are getting older. It is extremely important to realize that these symptoms are not normal signs of aging and older people do not necessary suffer from these symptoms all of the time.
COPD can be caused by a variety of issues, but the vast majority of cases are related to inhaling contaminants or pollutants, such as chemical residues, exhaust, and tobacco smoke, including both smoking themselves and breathing in second-hand smoke. There are also genetic factors that go into the possibility of developing COPD such as family history of the condition, as well as conditions that increase the chances of developing the disease, including chronic bronchitis.
If your elderly parent has been dealing with these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact his doctor to discuss your concerns and schedule an appointment for him to get a thorough examination. Early detection can greatly improve chances of successful management and reduce the damage done to your parent by the condition.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care services in Robinson Township, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551