Respiratory Care: Tips and Tricks for the Elderly

Atrayee De
March 02, 2017
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Respiratory Care: Tips and Tricks for the Elderly

We are all growing old, and it's a natural process. As it is going to come our way one day or the other, we have to be cautious about how we lead our lives, so that we could make the necessary changes in our lives to age in a more dynamic and happier manner. Talking about aging, one of the vital problems that the elderly across the planet face is the problems relating to breathing, therefore proper respiratory care should be taken to avoid these problems from stemming in the very first place. Many factors including the genetics, the various pollutants and irritants-can affect the health of your lungs and your overall respiration. There are several varieties of the respiratory problems however, herein under the more common ones are discussed:

  • The Common Cold and Flu - both are highly contagious diseases; however, the common cold is very different from the disease, flu; a cold is thought to be the most rampant upper respiratory infection caused by over hundreds and hundreds of the different varieties of viruses. The flu, on the other hand is caused by only three different types of viruses. The cold and flu are responsible for the heavy mucus on the chest that may lead to the chronic respiratory conditions, such as pneumonia and also bronchitis, seen especially among the elderly population.
  • Pneumonia - is the common inflammation of the lungs caused by an infection with a bacterium or a virus. Older adults are more susceptible to pneumonia following the flu or during the lengthy hospital stays.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - is a lung disease which is also known for its hallmark difficulty in the "blowing air out". The elderly are especially prone to this disease, often the results of the misdiagnosis.
  • Bronchitis - is a form of the COPD responsible for the excessive amounts of mucus on the chest causing a bad cough.
  • Asthma - more than 20 million people have asthma in the world on an average, it is a long-term lung disease which is usually triggered by the irritants such as smoke, dust and even pet dander which tighten the airways.


Doctors often diagnose the various breathing problems by performing a physical exam that is to say by taking a patient history and family health history and using the different tests. For instance, the pulmonary function tests, also known as the lung function tests, which are frequently used to assess lung function in the people with asthma. These tests include the spirometry and a test known as the methacholine challenge.

Natural Remedies for better Respiratory Care

Leading a simpler life

For people with the breathing problems and more specifically the COPD, planning out each week in advance, spreading the chores over several days, is a smart way to help manage the symptoms. Prepare simple, also easy meals and make extra, so that you have ready-to-reheat leftovers whenever possible. Think about each task before you start it, visualizing the steps which are involved and the most efficient plan of attacking them. Devise shortcuts that is if you can. Take a break as soon as you start showing the signs of shortness of breath or any other COPD symptoms. And, most importantly, don't be afraid to ask for help in cases of need.


Though exercising may seem quite counterintuitive when you're feeling short of breath from problems such as COPD, but working out - when done properly - can actually help you breathe easier, and also can help you keep in control most of your breathing diseases. It is therefore most recommended respiratory care tip. When the muscles are in better shape, they use the oxygen more efficiently, and that's great news for your lungs. Walking outside or even pedaling on a stationary bike at home or at the gym are two great activities to start with. Working out with the light hand weights and stretching regularly are other fitness options for easing most of the breathing problem symptoms.

Eating Smaller Meals More Frequently

Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day can actually help you manage your breathing problem symptoms. Bigger meals can cause your stomach to actually bloat, and press against your lungs, preventing them to actually fully expand and contributing to the shortness of breath. Watching the amount of carbohydrates intake that is the amount you eat may also help you save the energy, which is important especially for people with COPD

Breathing Exercises

Several well-known pulmonologist recommend the pursed lip breathing which is basically the breathing out exercise with the lips closed and the diaphragmatic breathing, in which you basically control your breaths in by allowing the diaphragm to move downward and the stomach to be outward.

Vaporizers/ Inhalers

An inhaler is a medical device which is used for delivering the medication into the body via the lungs and the vaporizers are used to direct the steam on the face. There are an extensive range of inhalers and vaporizers that are available in the market for instance, the Naulakha Steam Inhaler & Vaporizer which works both as an inhaler and vaporizer. Also, the Console Steam Inhaler & Vaporizer that helps to get the relief from the common cold, bronchitis, sinusitis etc. You could use them as an extra support for effective breathing

Stop Smoking

If you are having respiratory problems, the most important thing you should do is quit smoking. Smoking is very dangerous for you and will aggravate your breathing problems, so it is highly recommended that you quit smoking. Recently, one of my neighbors who was suffering from COPD died, because of smoking, which basically aggravated his condition.

Benefits of using herbs for better Respiratory Care

Herbs that support the lung health typically do so by offering one or more of the following benefits:

  • They may be considered as an expectorant - which helps break up and also expel chest congestion.
  • Soothe the irritated nasal passages and airways.
  • Relax the muscles near the upper respiratory cavity to quell a cough.
  • Calm and relax the release of histamines.
  • Fight the harmful organisms that can produce the upper respiratory problems.
  • They may be a source of the antioxidants and reduce oxidative damage and redness.

Commonly used Herbs used for Treating Respiratory Care

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lungwort
  • Oregano
  • Plantain Leaf
  • Elecampane
  • Lobelia
  • Chaparral
  • Peppermint
  • Osha Root

Supplementing with the Lung Support Herbs

All of the above herbs are available, in various different forms, some are available as the nutritional supplements and some are in the form of tea blends. Additionally, many people grow herbs in their garden and simply consume them as food items. That's not quite a bad idea! If you grow them yourself, you can rest the easy knowing that the source is a good one. If not, it can be difficult to know if the nutritional supplements use herbs that are organic, or they contain pesticides, or whether they are actually ethically harvested, that is given clean water, etc, or not. These are not the factors for which you can or simply should not assume the best - ask the relevant questions and verify that you're getting the best product possible, because the right products can do wonders and can help you fight your respiratory problems more effectively.

Homeopathic Remedies for treating asthma

When it comes to the treating asthma we cannot forget that most elderly are usually affected by it.

Here are some homeopathic remedies to help them battle out this disease effectively:

  • Ipecac - it is the best medicine for asthma with nausea and vomiting
  • Antim Tart - it is the best treatment for asthma with rattling in chest
  • Nux Vomica - it is the best asthma medicine with gastric disturbance
  • Carbo Veg - it is the best remedy for asthma with bluish face

Food for better Respiratory Care

Food for better Respiratory Care
  • Yogurt and Kefir- Yogurt and kefir are not only good to the taste buds but also have hidden

Properties that work wonders for treating your respiratory needs, so consume them as often as you can.

  • Fruits and Vegetables- Even if you want you can't stop eating them, fruits and vegetables are

    Essential for your good health, eat lots and lots of vegetables and at least one fruit daily.

  • Warm Fluids- Especially during the winter season, when tendency of catching cold is

    Quite high have or rather sip warm fluids to keep your body warm and hydrated

  • Fatty Fish- Fish contain omega fatty acids that work wonder to treat respiratory problems

So take it alternatively in a week

  • Water - Water plays a huge role in the health and is the base of any of the cleansing action. Pure, clean water is quite essential to keeping the blood flowing to and from the lungs. It also keeps our lungs a lot hydrated and the mucus flowing. It may sound disgusting, but the mucus is important and needs to be in the right consistency for the cilia to move it-along with the toxins, microbes, and the pollutants-out.
  • Garlic and Onions - These pungent foods are great for the heart and thus work wonders for the lungs too. They reduce inflammation, lower the cholesterol, and fight the infection.
  • Ginger - This spice has the anti-inflammatory properties and also promotes the elimination of the pollutants from the lungs.
  • Chili Peppers - Peppers are filled with the capsaicin, the spicy compound that gives them their bite. Capsaicin improves the blood flow, stimulates the mucus membranes, and fights infection
  • Cruciferous Vegetables - Cabbage, the cauliflower, broccoli, and kale have been shown to halt the progression of the lung cancer and cut the risk of developing the lung cancer in half. They are rich in the chlorophyll that cleans and builds the blood, and full of some of the very effective antioxidants.
  • Pomegranates - Pomegranate juice slows the growth of the lung tumors. Pomegranates contain many antioxidants including the ellagic acid, which is gaining strides in the cancer research.
  • Turmeric - This spice is related to the ginger with many of the same benefits. It also contains curcumin, a compound that usually encourages the self-destruction of cancer cells.
  • Apples - Flavonoids, the vitamin E, and vitamin C all help your lungs function at their best. Apples are rich in all of these and those who eat it severally a week have healthier lungs.
  • Grapefruit - Naringin, is a flavonoid in grapefruit, which inhibits the activation of a cancer causing enzyme. White grapefruit contains a high amount of this flavonoid, though the pink grapefruit has some too along with the antioxidant lycopene. The grapefruit is especially good at the cleansing of the lungs after the quitting smoking
  • Beans, Seeds, and the Nuts - These all contain the rich amounts of magnesium, a mineral that contributes to the healthy lung function. They also provide the essential fatty acids that are good for the cardiovascular system.
  • Carrots - These roots are rich in the vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene, all the antioxidants that affect the lung health and lower the chances of developing the lung disease.
  • Oranges - Citrus is rich in the vitamin C and vitamin B6. These help the lungs to transfer the oxygen.
  • Pumpkin - Pumpkin is another food rich in the beta carotene and vitamin C, like carrots.
  • Red Bell Pepper - These mild peppers are rich in the vitamin C and the carotenoids lutein and the zeaxanthin. Carotenoids have been shown to cut the risks of developing the lung cancer.

Thus lead a healthier life, avoid having excess of junk food, quit smoking and make the necessary lifestyle changes for a better aging and also for being better equipped to fight the respiratory problems, these are general tips and tricks for severe breathing problems such as lung cancer, showing a doctor is always a good option. These remedies are provided so that if you are reaching a particular age, you are cautious and healthy so that chances of you developing these diseases are less, and if you already have developed them you can lower their pace or fight them out in a better manner.

Thus lead a healthier life, avoid having excess of junk food, quit smoking and make the necessary lifestyle changes for a better aging and also for being better equipped to fight the respiratory problems, these are general tips and tricks for severe breathing problems such as lung cancer, showing a doctor is always a good option. These remedies are provided so that if you are reaching a particular age, you are cautious and healthy so that chances of you developing these diseases are less, and if you already have developed them you can lower their pace or fight them out in a better manner.

Atrayee De

Atrayee De

Hello everyone, I am a law student, I love reading, researching and singing. Apart from these I also love to dress up, and stay updated with the on going fashion and beauty trends of the glamour industry!

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