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Breathing Techniques for Older Adults

November 29th, 2016

Caregivers in Jupiter Island FL

Caregivers in Jupiter Island FLChronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) is a common condition among elderly adults, affecting over 12 million of them. It can cause them to become breathless while doing everyday activities, exercise, or simply walking up a flight of stairs. The two types of COPD lung conditions the elder could develop include bronchitis and emphysema.

Each person is different, but some require oxygen tanks just to continue living their life as normally as possible. They may even need help from caregivers to handle all of the tasks they are physically unable to do. Fortunately, there are some breathing techniques that can be done to strengthen their lungs and reduce the likelihood that their COPD will make it impossible for them to continue doing the things they love.
Breathe from the Belly

This type of breathing exercise is known as diaphragmatic breathing. People with COPD usually have weakened diaphragmatic muscles, causing them to use other muscles when breathing, like those found in the neck, back, and shoulders. This is an effective way to strengthen the elder's breathing skills, just make sure to talk to their doctor before having them try it. Here are the steps needed to do this kind of breathing:

  • Relax the shoulders
  • Place one hand on the abdomen and the other in the chest
  • Breathe in through the nose for approximately two seconds
  • The belly should be moving forward more than the chest
  • When exhaling, purse the lips, while gently pressing on the stomach. Doing this will add pressure to the diaphragm in order to help release the air
  • Repeat

Pursed-Lips Breathing

This type of breathing will open up the airways in order to let out any trapped air. Pursed-lip breathing will allow your loved one to breathe easier, while also allowing you to pursue exercise or other activities for longer periods of time. To do this, here are the steps:

  • Inhale through the nose for approximately two seconds
  • Pucker the lips in the same manner needed to blow out candles on a birthday cake
  • Exhale through pursed lips, at a much slower rate than the elder inhaled
  • Repeat

When your loved one is feeling winded and out of breath, it is important that they follow these techniques:

  • Stop whatever activity caused them to become breathless
  • Sit down, relax, and practice the pursed-lip breathe technique
  • Continue doing this until the senior is able to breathe comfortably again

Talk to the elder's doctor to get more breathing tips.

Source:
http://www.copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Living-with-COPD/Breathing-Techniques.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/features/copd-breathing-tips
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Jupiter Island, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.