Ways to Protect the Respiratory System in Elderly Adults

Ways to Protect the Respiratory System in Elderly Adults: Things Caregivers Must Know

Everybody system in humans is very vital and should obviously be cared for as much as possible. Nonetheless, how we should take care of each one depends a lot on the actual system itself. Factors such as age should also be taken into account since older people tend to be more susceptible to certain illnesses. 

As such, every caregiver should prioritize the respiratory system of independent seniors living near me, especially if we consider the conditions that even healthy seniors are susceptible to such as pneumonia and other breathing problems. Pay attention to these guidelines that can deliver positive results time and time again. 

  1. Limit their exposure to pollutants and irritants.

Senior living communities near me often take this seriously, so much so that they make it a point to choose the location of their communities wisely. Communities in more remote locations away from highways and industrial complexes can make caregivers’ jobs easy.

But if that’s not at all the case in your community, greater care should be given when exposing them to elements such as pollution from traffic, secondhand smoke, among others. 

  • Time their outdoor exercises wisely so they won’t end up inhaling unwanted smoke and chemicals. 
  • Practice effective indoor air ventilation and quality by changing and cleaning AC filters frequently, inspecting air ducts, actively controlling humidity, etc. Some assisted living communities in Ohio, like the Lantern communities, even make indoor plants that have been proven to raise air quality.
  • If your community is not completely smoke-free, make sure to limit the allowed persons in areas where smoking is permitted. 
  • As for irritants like mold, pet dander, dust, and mildew, there’s really no other way to address these than consistent cleaning. Try to use natural products as much as possible to avoid causing unwanted side effects and allergic reactions. 
  • Communities should practice regular dusting and vacuuming of rooms that seniors frequent. It also helps to use vacuums that have a HEPA filter since they guarantee the removal of most irritants. 
  1. Encourage them to take part in physical activities and do certain lung exercises. 

Anything that pertains to our general well-being will always be tied to being more active on a regular basis. Cardio exercises that are senior-friendly should already be a big step in the right direction for most older people.

Tried-and-tested exercises that almost any healthy senior can do include:

  • Taking regular walks
  • Riding a stationary bike
  • Light jogging on a treadmill

Almost any of these cardio activities done over a long period of time can do wonders for one’s respiratory function. 

Of course, there are assisted living communities near me that take things further by encouraging seniors to do lung exercises. What’s even better is that there’s no shortage of breathing exercises that are entirely appropriate for seniors. Various examples include diaphragmatic breathing, Chinese breathing exercises, Buteyko breathing, and even feet breathing.

Even simple, focused breathing that’s done regularly can already work wonders. You can make it more engaging and immersive by adding imagery. Did you know that encouraging seniors more mindful of breathing deeply can already enhance their lung function? 

You can often achieve significant results even by counting your breaths every time you breathe in and out, regardless of your age. 

  1. Focus on preventing respiratory illnesses.

Considering the lingering impact of COVID-19 on independent living near me, this should be a no-brainer. Naturally, active vaccinations and regular flu shots are warranted. A lot of doctors advise seniors, especially those with comorbidities, to take the pneumonia vaccine. It’s critical to discuss this with the senior physician before moving ahead with it. 

It also pays to nourish a culture of cleanliness and wellness in the entire community by doing the following:

  • Make sure to remind seniors to keep their hands clean by washing regularly and refraining from touching their faces most of the time. 
  • Planning better, more nutritious, immunity-boosting meals for the community as a whole. The Lantern assisted living, in particular, is known for prioritizing the meals they serve regularly as a clear adherence to the old adage, “Let food be thy medicine.”
  • Encouraging continued education about maintaining health and nutrition should also be advocated in assisted living near me. This only makes it easier for you to convince seniors to try out treatment therapies that they may be having second thoughts about. This is because of a lack of knowledge about them.
  1. Actively motivate them to adopt a healthier overall lifestyle.

There’s no beating a lifestyle that you know is intricately and naturally connected to wellness. It almost always triggers a positive domino effect, after all, that affects all the systems of the human body, the respiratory system included. 

What steps should you take to encourage it? Look no further than this list:

  • Encourage them to adopt healthier sleeping habits. Take the time to know how you’ll be able to improve the sleep quality of the senior under your care.
  • Take note of all their dietary patterns, especially any changes you see.
  • Be mindful of their breathing patterns and ask them immediately about how they’re feeling. They may be experiencing difficulty breathing or chest tightness that they may not be too keen on revealing yet. This is why it’s better to take the initiative to ask them about it.
  • Encourage them to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Anyone who is overweight or obese is already using his or her lungs at a less-than-optimal level. What more if we consider seniors that are on the heavy side, too?
  • Don’t forget to remind them about the importance of taking a break and actively resting, too. Fatigue may lower one’s immunity, after all, so it’s vital to not force seniors to be active if they’re feeling tired.


There are so many things senior assisted living near me can do that will directly contribute to maintaining the lung health of the elderly under their care. The ones highlighted in this article prove as much. In the end, though, it’s still entirely up to the senior community manager and the caregivers how they’ll take proactive steps in protecting the ones under their care.

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