COPD impacts more than 15 million people throughout the United States.
Experts estimate that around another 12 million people in the United States are actually living with the condition, but have not yet been diagnosed with it. This condition can be very dangerous for an older adult, making it very important for you as a family caregiver to understand the risk factors that can make your parent more likely to develop the condition.
By being able to recognize these risk factors, you can be more vigilant about your parent’s health and more likely to detect changes that might indicate they are suffering from this illness. The sooner this condition is diagnosed, the sooner your parent can get on the course of treatment and management that is right for their needs.
Some risk factors associated with COPD include:
Smoking. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of cases of COPD are caused by smoking. The longer a person smoked, the higher their personal risk. This does not mean if your parent never smoked they will not develop the disease. 10 to 20 percent of those with COPD never smoked.
Exposure to pollution. If your parent has a personal history of exposure to environmental pollutants in their home, their former workplace, or the outdoor environment, their lungs may be more vulnerable and likely to develop COPD.
Genetics. There is some genetic link to the development of COPD. A trait known as Alpha-1 deficiency can increase the risk of developing certain types of COPD.
Family history. If your parent has a parent, child, or sibling who had COPD, they are at increased risk for developing the condition.
Elderly care can be extremely valuable if your aging parent is living with particular risk factors for health issues.
When is senior has risk factors for health problems, this does not mean they will necessarily develop the condition but are simply more likely than others without risk factors to develop it. As a family caregiver, you can think of an elderly home care services provider as an extra set of eyes and source of support for your parent.
This care provider can monitor your aging loved one’s condition and health, and make note of any changes in their symptoms, functioning, or well-being. They can then bring these to your attention so you can make meaningful decisions about how to move forward with their health care and medical needs. This can be particularly valuable if you live at a distance from your parent and do not feel as though you are with them enough to keep good track of their health and well-being.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Newport Beach, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today!