Symptoms and signs that your elderly family member is near the end of life and end of life care might look a little different if she has COPD.
Increased Difficulty with ADLs
ADLs, or activities of daily living, are activities that your family member does every single day as the basis of living. These are activities like cooking food, getting dressed, brushing her teeth, and so much more that she probably doesn’t think about. As her COPD worsens, it becomes more difficult for her to handle ADLs on her own. Eventually, ADLs may be impossible for her, even with help.
Increased Respiratory Infections
One huge problem for people with COPD is the fact that their lungs are more susceptible to respiratory infections. As COPD progresses, lung infections become more of a hazard and become more severe. And lung infections can mean more hospital stays and emergency room visits. As her lungs weaken, even minor infections can be a huge problem. End of life care can help to manage symptoms related to lung infections to help your senior to heal as much as possible.
More Problems Due to Malnutrition
Nutritional difficulties are a huge concern for anyone with COPD. Eating can be complicated with COPD, and that situation worsens over time as the illness progresses. People with COPD burn a lot of calories, and often can’t keep up with food intake to offset their needs. As her health worsens, your senior may have even less interest in eating, making malnutrition a bigger issue.
Worsening Memory Issues and Confusion
Concentration, memory, and cognition are all affected by oxygen levels, which become lower for people with COPD. Another issue is that carbon dioxide is harder to expel as COPD worsens, and that affects cognitive abilities, too. As your elderly family member nears the end of life, end of life for this becomes an even bigger issue.
End of Life Care to Deal with More Depression and Anxiety
Dealing with a chronic illness like COPD is really hard, and many people with COPD experience a great deal of anxiety and depression. There’s a lot of loss in no longer being able to do things that your senior enjoys doing and losing the ability to even breathe easily. As COPD worsens, depression and anxiety also worsen. Near the end of life, your family member may be even more anxious and depressed. This is manageable with the help of end of life care.
Every person with COPD has a different experience when they near the end of their life, and that’s also true for your family member. End of life care services can help to meet her needs, no matter what they are.