Coping with Asthma Symptoms at Home
Asthma is a chronic condition that makes passages in the lungs narrow, making it difficult to breathe. It can also cause wheezing and coughing. Being a family caregiver to an older adult with asthma requires keeping a close eye on asthma symptoms and dealing with them promptly to prevent an asthma attack. Knowing some strategies for managing symptoms at home can help you to do that. 

Asthma Medications

Your older family member’s doctor may have prescribed one or more kinds of medication to help control symptoms. It is important to understand how the medications are used and when to use them. There are basically two kinds of asthma medications, but there are different varieties of each them. The two basic kinds of asthma medications are:
  • Long-Term Control Medications: These kinds of medications are usually taken each day. They keep symptoms under control and reduce the risk of having an asthma attack. 
  • Quick-Relief or Rescue Medications: These medications are for fast symptom relief when an asthma attack occurs. The doctor might also recommend they be used before exercise.
In some cases, allergy medications can also help control asthma. If your aging relative’s asthma attacks are brought on by allergens, the doctor might suggest taking medications to combat allergies.

Home Strategies

There are many ways you can help prevent an asthma attack in your aging relative. Some strategies to try are:
  • Have an Asthma Plan: If the doctor has not provided your aging relative with a written asthma plan, ask for one. The plan explains how to use medications and what to do when symptoms occur.
  • Manage Triggers: If you don’t know what triggers asthma attacks in the senior, keeping a written record of symptoms and what is happening before they occur can help. Write down the environment the person is in, weather conditions, etc. Once you’ve figured out what the triggers are, work to minimize them. For example, if symptoms worsen when the house hasn’t been cleaned in a while, vacuum and dust more frequently to reduce pet dander and other household allergens.
  • Cover the Face: If cold air brings on an asthma attack, a scarf or face mask can help.
  • Exercise and Lose Weight: Regular exercise can help improve heart and lung health, which can reduce symptoms. If the senior is overweight, losing weight can also help to relieve symptoms.
Home care can also help to control asthma symptoms. A home care provider can remind the older adult to take daily medications and use a rescue inhaler when needed. Home care providers can also help to keep the house clean. Finally, a home care provider can help your family member to improve their overall health by helping them be more physically active and cooking healthy meals.


If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Draper, UT, contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today 801-401-3515.

Author: Michael and Marlena Hawkins, Owners, Interim HealthCare, Salt Lake City, UT  

Interim HealthCare of Salt Lake City has been in business since February 2014, providing in-home personal care and support services that help our elderly and/or disabled neighbors live enriched, safe and independent lives. Our goal is to provide customized care and support services that make it possible for our clients to remain in the comfort of their own homes rather than relocate to an assisted living facility. Interim HealthCare is family owned by Michael and Marlana Hawkins, and is a Veteran Owned Small Business.

Article Categories: