The natural process of aging can cause changes in the lungs that can make breathing more difficult for senior citizens.
With October being designated as Healthy Lung Month, this is a great time to help your senior client or loved one learn ways to improve their lung function and breathe a little easier.
Helping Your Lungs Work Better
1. Get Moving: Mucus has an easy time forming in your lungs when you sit or stay in bed for too long, and this puts you at a much greater risk for lung infections. Find an activity that you enjoy such as walking with your grandchildren, gardening or water aerobics, and you’ll find that your lungs work better when exercised.
2. Do Breathing Exercises: Depending upon your lung function, there are several exercises that are designed to help you breathe better. Check with your doctor for the best breathing exercises to suit your needs.
3. Stop Smoking: Even if you’ve been smoking for your entire life, aging lungs can’t cope with this dangerous habit. Continuing to smoke will put you at risk for chronic coughing, chest infections, lung cancer and COPD, and you will see how much easier you can breathe soon after you stop smoking.
4. Prevent Infection: Avoid crowds during cold and flu season, and you should wash your hands often with warm water and soap. Practicing good dental hygiene can also prevent an infection that could impact your lungs.
5. Get Regular Checkups: Lung disease often goes undetected until it becomes quite serious. See your doctor regularly so that any lung problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible to help ensure a full recovery.