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Top Ways to Improve Lung Health in Seniors: Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week

An estimated 15 percent of older adults in America suffer from some form of respiratory disorder. As we age, our bodies change in many ways, and our respiratory system is no exception. After the age of 35, our lung function naturally starts to decline. This can make breathing slightly more difficult, especially during intense activity. As such, it is increasingly important to take care of your respiratory health as you get older. To do this successfully, both seniors and caregivers should learn the different ways seniors can maintain good lung health and improve their overall well-being. 

Here's what to know.

Five Tips for Better Lung Health in Seniors

As seniors, adopting certain healthy habits will help you support and protect your lung health. Below are simple ways to keep your lungs healthy. 

Quit Smoking

Cigarette smoking is the most significant risk factor for lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cigarette smoke can cause inflammation, narrow air passages, and destroy lung tissue. 

The more and longer you smoke, the higher your likelihood of developing these conditions. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you are a smoker, consult your doctor for smoking cessation programs, medications, or support groups that can help you quit. Quitting smoking can not only improve your lung function but also your overall health. 

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise strengthens your lungs and boosts your immune system, effectively helping to ward off respiratory diseases. Certain cardiovascular exercises will give your lungs the workout they need, something that will improve their capacity and efficiency. This will in turn lead to better respiratory function.

If you are a beginner, you can benefit greatly from light workouts such as walking, swimming, or yoga. However, before starting any exercise program, be sure to speak to your healthcare provider. This is particularly important if you have a chronic lung condition. 

Maintain a Healthy Diet

To protect your lungs, optimize lung function and improve your overall health, eat a healthy diet. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals. In addition, remember to stay well hydrated. 

Following a healthy diet will also require that you limit your intake of processed and high-fat foods. These foods can contribute to inflammation and respiratory distress. To successfully improve your diet, speak to a registered dietitian to develop a nutrition plan that meets your unique needs. 

Stay Up to Date with Medical Appointments

A home health aide can provide a wide range of services that will help to improve your health. However, even with quality senior care, remember to stay up to date with medical appointments. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider will help to detect and manage any respiratory conditions before they become more serious. Your doctor can perform lung function tests, assess your overall health, and make recommendations for preventive measures or treatment plans. 

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider for More Information

Due to age-related changes to the respiratory system, seniors need to take care of their respiratory health. Following the above health tips for seniors will go a long way in helping you to improve your lung health and overall well-being. However, it is also important to speak to your healthcare provider. The medical expert will provide more information on how to maintain and improve your lung health.

Improving Seniors' Lung Health

If you are a senior or have a senior loved one, consider choosing home health care services. With home health care, a patient can receive personalized care in the comfort of their own home. This allows you or your loved one to maintain independence and quality of life. 

At Elite Home Health Care, we offer home care services to seniors. Our team of health aides and registered nurses provides the best home care services tailored to you or your loved ones. We design a care plan according to an individual's needs, prioritizing their recovery, reducing hospitalization, and maximizing the independence of seniors. Indeed, our registered nurses are well-trained to effectively monitor vital signs of disease and medication requirements. 

Visit our website today to learn more about senior health and our home care services. 

Written by: Leah Ganz
Director of Patient Services

Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain managemnet and internal medicine. She oversees allpatient services across Elite's departments.