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Home care worker helps senior take medication for seasonal allergies.

Helping Seniors Manage Allergies and Asthma

We all look forward to the pleasantly warm weather of spring and summer, especially following the cold and dreary months of winter. Unfortunately, the warmer seasons can be a mixed blessing for millions of seniors who suffer from allergy or asthma symptoms.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Congestion
  • Itchy or irritated sinuses, ear canals, and throat
  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties

Symptoms and their severity—from mild irritation to life-threatening reactions—can vary among individuals. When it comes to the cause of these symptoms, the usual allergy and asthma triggers include:

  • Pollen
  • Grass
  • Trees
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Smoke
  • Pests
  • Chlorine
  • Animal dander
  • Certain odors or cleaning products.

Getting expert care is important. Allergies and asthma can significantly affect a senior’s quality of life. Make an appointment to speak with a doctor for treatment if you suspect your loved one suffers from asthma or allergies.

How Can In-Home Care Help Provide Allergy and Asthma Relief?

A Visiting Angels home care provider can help your loved one comfortably manage allergy and asthma symptoms through the following ways:

  1. Learning your loved one’s triggers
    An in-home caregiver will learn the triggers that cause your loved one’s allergies or asthma. Understanding what causes their reaction will help them in the future. The information will also help a doctor determine the right diagnosis and treatment.
  1. Avoiding exposure to outdoor irritants
    Many common asthma and allergy triggers—such as grass and pollen—are often worse outdoors and may peak at certain times of the day. An in-home caregiver will schedule activities when irritants are not at their peak. This coordination will help older adults who have impaired cognitive function and may not recognize when going outside would cause them discomfort.
  1. Keeping your loved one’s home free of triggers
    Most asthma and allergy triggers are located outside but can be brought inside via an open door or window. An in-home caregiver will make sure your loved one keeps doors and windows closed during peak trigger times. They will your loved one to change clothes or bathe after coming back inside to avoid bringing triggers indoors.

    Pet dander, mold, and dust are common indoor irritants. An in-home caregiver will perform light housekeeping duties—vacuuming, dusting, surface cleaning, and changing bedsheets—to keep the home free of triggers.

    If your loved one is allergic to certain cleaning products, an in-home caregiver will choose safe alternatives.
  1. Helping your loved one take asthma and allergy medication when needed
    Medications can help seniors with asthma and allergy symptoms. An in-home caregiver will help your loved one take their medication regularly and on time. In the event of an emergency, such as an allergic reaction or asthma attack, an in-home caregiver will know what actions to take immediately and when to call for emergency assistance.

By taking steps to help your older loved one avoid and manage asthma and allergy triggers, an in-home caregiver can maintain your loved one’s overall health and wellness during the warm weather of spring and summer.

If you're interested in more information about how in-home care can help your senior loved ones, contact your nearest Visiting Angels office today or call 800-365-4189.
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