One of the bigger issues that your senior can face when it comes to managing COPD is less about actual breathing problems and more about anxiety. Many people with COPD have serious issues managing anxiety levels and that can become a big problem.
Get as Much Information as Possible about COPD
Information is always going to serve you well as a caregiver, especially if your senior is dealing with something as complicated as COPD. When you educate yourself, you’re going to learn a lot about the mechanics of breathing, about how COPD affects your senior’s body, and how COPD affects her emotionally and mentally. You’ll start to understand the roots of the anxiety the more you learn. Talk to your senior’s doctor about what’s going on, too. That also helps you both to learn as much as you can.
Talk to Your Senior about Anxiety
When you start to learn a lot more about anxiety and how it affects your senior, you can help her to understand it, too. Much of the anxiety that your elderly family member is experiencing around breathing involves not being able to breathe or being afraid that she’s not going to be able to breathe. That can be something she doesn’t consciously think about, but that her body reacts to as a stressor. There may be other aspects of breathing and COPD that are also causing your senior to feel anxious. Talk with her about what she’s feeling.
Experiment and Find Solutions
Finding the right solutions is going to involve experimenting a bit. Understanding your elderly family member’s anxiety triggers is the important part, and you have to do that before you can find answers. Conservation of energy and being unable to conserve energy can be a huge source of anxiety. If that’s the case for your elderly family member, then finding ways to help her to hang onto her energy is crucial. Senior care providers can be the right answer, for instance. Senior care providers can take over tasks that cause her to expend more energy than she has to safely spend, which can immediately help her to lower her anxiety levels.
Keeping the lines of communication open and letting your senior know you’re there for her are both ways to make sure she knows that she can count on you. Check in with her regularly about how she’s feeling and address what you can as soon as it’s feasible to do so.