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Common Respiratory Disorders In Seniors

As we age, respiratory care becomes more and more vital to our well-being. Around 15 percent of older adults suffer from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or another respiratory disorder. Princeton Health Care Center offers experienced respiratory care guided by caring specialists.

Common Respiratory Disorders

Pneumonia can be fatal if left undiagnosed for too long. Early detection and aggressive treatment are essential, and it’s important for seniors to get their annual pneumonia vaccination.

Influenza (the flu) is another potentially deadly respiratory disorder. It too can often be prevented with a vaccination along with proper respiratory care.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. It diminishes breathing and quality of life, and metastasizes to other organs and bodily systems.

COPD is not one disease but rather a class of diseases involving obstructed airways. Some of these diseases, i.e. chronic bronchitis, can arise at any stage of life. Others such as emphysema develop during middle age or later.

Asthma is a disorder we typically think of as starting early in life. While this is mostly accurate, there is also adult-onset asthma which doesn’t emerge until well into adulthood.

How We Help – Treatment Plan

Princeton Health Care Center residents can expect exceptional respiratory therapy, no matter the exact disorder or the severity of symptoms. Our Medical Director may order a range of tests, including breathing tests, x-rays, and tissue samples, as well as blood work. Upon diagnosing a resident’s breathing disorder, we design a treatment plan that is specific to the patient’s age and physiological condition. Depending on these variables, treatment could include supplemental oxygen, bronchodilators, and antibiotics, and in some cases steroids or other anti-inflammatories.

Why Respiratory Therapy Is Important – Some Statistics

The number of Americans who die from chronic respiratory diseases has increased dramatically over the past 40 years. From 1980 through 2014, a range of chronic respiratory disorders was responsible for the deaths of more than 4.6 million Americans. Moreover, whereas the mortality rate for respiratory-related deaths was 41 deaths for every 100,000 people in 1980, by 2014 it had risen to nearly 53 out of every 100,000 – a 31 percent increase.

Of these deaths, COPD was by far the biggest cause, accounting for 85% of cases. In fact, from 1980 – 2014 COPD surpassed stroke as the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Other chronic respiratory illnesses also saw dramatic increases. These include asthma; particle-inhalation diseases like pneumoconiosis and interstitial lung disease; and pulmonary sarcoidosis.

Contact Us For More Information

From pain management to respiratory therapy, every treatment offered at Princeton Health Care is focused on restoring a resident to the best health possible. If you or an elderly loved one could benefit from skilled nursing care for conditions like these, call today to schedule a tour.

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