Common Breathing Problems Among the Elderly

Common Breathing Problems Among the Elderly

Home Care in Draper UT

Respiratory problems are not all that uncommon among older adults. In fact, many of them have some type of breathing problem, which seems to get worse with age. This could include quickly becoming winded after a brisk walk or going up a flight of stairs. Even taking a bath could cause the senior to become breathless. Many seniors with respiratory problems turn to home care providers to assist with the day-to-day responsibilities they are no longer able to do, such as cooking, grocery shopping, and housework. 

Some breathing issues the elderly go through are temporary, while others are more permanent. Understanding the types of problems your loved one may be at risk for will give you a better idea of how to prevent these issues from occurring. 

Common Breathing Problems
  • Common cold or flu. One possible cause could be the development of a simple cold or the flu. Both illnesses are extremely contagious, so make sure your loved one is frequently washing their hands after using the bathroom and before eating. The common cold and flu may also be simple viruses to us, but extremely dangerous for older adults. Make sure they get their flu shot each year and are taking the necessary measures to prevent it from getting passed to them. 
  • Pneumonia. Pneumonia causes the lungs to become inflamed with an infection and virus or bacteria. This illness usually follows after a bout of the flu or after a long hospital stay. 
  • Common Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). This is a lung disease that can make it very difficult to breathe in or out. Many seniors develop COPD and are not diagnosed with the illness until much later because their doctors often mistake the symptoms of this condition with other illnesses. 
  • Asthma. Asthma does not only affect children, but also impacts the health of over 20 million people of all ages in the United States. There are a wide range of environmental factors that can trigger the senior’s asthma to flare up, including cigarette smoke, pet dander, and dust.
  • Bronchitis. Bronchitis is a type of COPD that causes excessive amounts of mucus to develop in the chest, resulting in an extremely bad cough.
  • The flu. We previously mentioned how the common cold and flu can be dangerous to an older adult’s health. However, the flu has its own set of dangers among the elderly population. The heavy mucus that develops in the chest could lead to other health conditions, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Older adults who get a flu shot every year are less likely to develop the flu.
An elder’s lungs are not as capable of withstanding as many medical conditions as they once were. Talk to their doctor to find out how these conditions can be prevented or treated. 


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring 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: