The Importance of Respiratory Therapy

As we age, we can become more vulnerable to health conditions that affect the lungs, including the common cold, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), influenza, asthma, bronchitis, and more. These conditions are often exacerbated by smoking, air pollution, and pollen.

Further, they can become very concerning for seniors because they tend to be more severe and more difficult to recover from, especially if other medical conditions are already present. As a result, more intensive care is often needed, including prolonged hospital stays. With this in mind, respiratory therapy is important to improving the quality of life for seniors with chronic respiratory conditions – something that has been proven even more so since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Here are some benefits of senior respiratory care from our short-term rehabilitation team in South Jersey.

What are the benefits of respiratory therapy for seniors?

This rehabilitative therapy focuses on improving lung function, and is especially helpful to seniors because it:

  • Reduces the need for hospitalization/re-hospitalization
  • Helps boost a faster recovery
  • Improves general health and wellbeing
  • Reduces pulmonary complications

At United Methodist Communities at The Shores, our specialists and associates form a team that provides around-the-clock, holistic care to short-term rehab residents. Our team manages symptoms to increase comfort, improve sleep quality and take strain off the respiratory, cardiovascular and immune systems. Some of these vital tasks include monitoring and managing medications, preventing existing infections from worsening, and detecting more severe symptoms before cases worsen.

What does respiratory therapy look like for seniors?

So, what can you expect during respiratory therapy? All treatments are tailored to the resident’s specific needs, and can include:

  • Use of assisted breathing equipment and medication, including nebulizers, oxygen, CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) and BIPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) machines, and inhalers.
  • Physical exercises and manipulation (massage) to strengthen the diaphragm, release blockages and mucous, and improve breathing.
  • Administering tests to evaluate lung performance, how much oxygen is being taken into your bloodstream, and how well you are breathing.
  • Education and useful tips on how to recognize and prevent breathing trouble. This includes information on vaccines and flu shots, and other preventative measures like prioritizing a healthy diet, quitting smoking and more.
  • Information and guidance on how to follow a treatment plan at home, signs to watch for that indicate a doctor’s visit is necessary, and instructions on how to use respiratory equipment at home.

Signs that someone can benefit from respiratory therapy

A senior may benefit from this type of therapy if:

  • They suffer from any health condition that impacts lung function, from the common cold or asthma to pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea or COPD.
  • They are struggling to recover from a recent illness, suffering from chronic coughing, breathing trouble, excessive mucus in the airways, seasonal asthma and allergies, etc.
  • They are recovering from a surgery, traumatic event or hospitalization and want to help promote a faster, healthier recovery.

Short-term rehab care in Cape May County, NJ

Suffering from short or long-term chronic lung difficulties has a direct impact on quality of life. Respiratory issues can restrict physical activity, negatively impact sleeping patterns, and generally make life fairly unpleasant! Our respiratory therapists in South Jersey are able to supply this specialized care as needed for our residents in order to support lung recovery, restore prior lung function and improve their overall health and wellbeing. All of our therapists are experienced, compassionate and licensed by the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC).

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help make breathing easier and more comfortable for your senior loved one, give us a call or take a look at our website here: https://theshores.umcommunities.org/