You can’t always be there. But we can.
If your senior has COPD, the air quality within her home is essential to her well-being. It’s also something that you can control more than you might think.
Dust and Carpet Dander
One of the most common indoor irritants is dust and carpet dander. No matter how clean someone keeps their home, dust is going to find a way to settle. Staying on top of dust and carpet equivalents is important. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and dust with tools that capture and hold onto the dust particles.
Pet Fur and Dander
Getting rid of pets isn’t an option for most people because they’re part of the family. But excess fur and pet dander might be an irritant for your senior. Keeping up with dusting and vacuuming regularly can help a lot with pet fur and dander, too. It’s also a good idea to brush and to bathe the pet often to help remove loose fur before it becomes a problem.
Chemicals and Fragrances
Strong scents, especially from chemicals, can be a tremendous trigger for people with COPD. Household chemicals, like cleaning supplies, might seem safe enough, but for people with COPD any chemical smell can be too much. You might need to be careful with natural cleaners, like vinegar, because they can also have a strong smell that can be triggering.
Humidity levels impact breathing far more than most people realize. As the humidity levels rise, there’s more moisture in the air and that is more difficult to breathe. Higher humidity levels also create a perfect scenario for mildew, mold, and bacteria to grow, which can be extremely dangerous for someone with lung problems. Use a humidity monitor and consider adding a dehumidifier to your senior’s home in conjunction with air conditioning to reduce humidity levels.
You might not realize that cooking a pan of bacon can be enough to seriously damage indoor air quality for your senior. Even with a hood fan, just a little bit of smoke can send her into a coughing fit or make breathing incredibly difficult. Do what you can to adjust cooking methods and keep smoke from being a contributing factor.
Some of these changes might be more difficult for your senior than others. One answer might be to hire homecare providers to help. Homecare providers can help you to keep up with the increased demands of dusting and vacuuming more often as well as other tasks that can improve indoor air quality.