Respiratory health for aging parents

As our parent’s age, their needs change.

This includes a variety of medical needs, applying to the respiratory system as much as anything. The cause of these changing needs can be broken down into three categories: structural changes, behavioral factors, and environmental factors. Combined, these elements can lead to increased susceptibility to respiratory concerns including pneumonia, bronchitis, sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Structural Changes

One of the factors that contributes to these changing needs relates to the physical changes taking place in the human body as it ages. Just like your smartphone, parts of your body will begin to run less efficiently over time. First off, the tissue of your lungs loses elasticity, making it more difficult to keep airways open. Additionally, your diaphragm weakens, meaning this muscle cannot push air in and out of your lungs as well. Finally, the nerves responsible for clearing your airwaves begin to lose sensitivity. Combined, these factors cause buildup of foreign particles in the lungs.

Behavioral Factors

Smoking, of course, is a big variable when it comes to respiratory health. In addition to being a major cause of lung cancer, it can result in destroyed lung tissue, inflamed lungs, and narrowed air passages.

Exercise is another variable of respiratory health. It’s common for people to shift to a sedentary lifestyle as they get older, and it can be hard for older adults to squeeze in an exercise regimen that builds and maintains lung health. Framing exercises around enjoyable activities can help change behavior. It depends on the person, but basic, enjoyable activities like walking, swimming and gardening are common solutions for older adults.

Environmental Factors

While neither you or your parents can control the outside world, we can all regulate our exposure to the outdoors and we do have substantial control over our indoor spaces, which are subject to irritants such as mold, dander, cooking fumes, and even smoke from your fireplace. An Airmega purifier can help with these pollutants by trapping 99.97% of airborne particles, pollen, allergens, and fungi, keeping respiratory systems of any age healthier and breathing more freely.

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