According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 12 Americans has asthma. Asthma causes the air passages in the lungs to become narrow and swollen, making it hard to breathe. A person with asthma may cough, wheeze, and feel short of breath. Asthma can affect people of any age, including older adults.
If your parent suffers from asthma, the doctor may suggest they use a rescue inhaler. Knowing more about rescue inhalers and how they are used can help you to better manage asthma in your aging parent.
About Rescue Inhalers
Rescue inhalers allow asthma sufferers to inhale medications. Most rescue inhalers use beta-antagonist bronchodilators that work quickly to relax the muscles in the lungs and allow airways to expand. When the airways are open, more oxygen is able to enter the body. A short-acting rescue inhaler usually works within 15 to 20 minutes.
Inhalers can also be long-acting. These types of inhalers are used to manage asthma symptoms over the long-term rather than providing quick relief from an asthma attack.
How to Use a Rescue Inhaler
It seems like using an inhaler should be pretty easy—just squeeze and breathe, right? Experts at WebMD say it’s actually a little more complicated than that, and many people don’t use inhalers correctly. Sometimes people forget to breathe in as they squeeze the inhaler or they squirt the inhaler into their mouths and then breathe through their nose. Using an inhaler wrong means that the person doesn’t get a full dose, so the medication isn’t as effective.
To use an inhaler correctly, your parent needs to breathe slowly in while they squeeze. Then, they should hold their breath for a bit before exhaling. If they find that difficult, it can be helpful to use a “spacer” between the inhaler and their mouth. You can purchase a spacer tube, or simply roll a piece of paper into a tube and insert the inhaler into one end of it. Your parent breathes in through the other end of the paper.
If your parent suffers from asthma, having a senior care provider spend time with them during the day when you cannot be there may alleviate their fears as well as your own. A senior care provider can watch for signs of an asthma attack and remind your parent to use their inhaler. They can also monitor how the inhaler is being used. Senior care providers can also report the frequency and severity of asthma attacks to family caregivers, so they can determine if a visit to the doctor is needed.
If you or an aging loved one is considering Homecare in Rocklin, CA, or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at ApexCare®. Proudly Serving Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Solano, San Joaquin & Stanislaus counties. Call Today 877-916-9111