Smoking is a leading cause of COPD. You should know as your dad was a heavy smoker and has been diagnosed with COPD. He’s given up smoking, but now the heavy air pollution from Canadian wildfires is making his daily life difficult. Long-term exposure to poor air quality can have the same effect as smoking. It’s important that your dad realizes this. In addition to the rising AQI, the heat and humidity are kicking in and worsening things. He’s having a hard time coughing and wheezing, and you’re worried. Hire home health care providers to monitor his habits and his vital signs to keep him safe.
Don’t Let Him Overexert
Your dad’s doctor told him it’s essential that he goes for a short walk each day. If your dad insists on taking a walk outside, an N95 mask is essential. He also needs to go at a slower pace. He cannot overexert. If you can get him to stay inside, that’s best.
Does your dad insist on exercising? If he has a treadmill, set it up near a patio door. He can walk and look outside at the same time. It may not be the same as having the sun on his face, but it’s safer for him for now.
Keep Him Inside
Your dad needs to stay inside. He may be feeling a bit stir-crazy, but it’s critical that he stays inside with an air purifier running. HEPA filters are best.
If it’s hot, turn on the air conditioning and make sure his home is cool and dry. If he only has one air conditioner or air purifier, try to set them up in his bedroom since that’s where he spends a lot of his time. If that’s not possible, have him sleep in the room he has AC.
Make Sure His Prescription Inhalers Are Available
Your dad needs to have his inhaler handy. If it’s almost empty, get a refill ASAP. If it’s not possible, ask his doctor for help. If he has any prescription corticosteroids that his doctor recommended he use for now, make sure he’s taking them as prescribed. If he can’t remember, a home health care nurse can administer the medications he needs.
Arrange Home Health Care Services
When your dad’s struggling to get enough air, his oxygen levels may decrease. He needs a home health care nurse to check his oxygen levels and make sure he uses oxygen as often as needed until his airways open enough to make it easier to breathe again.
Your dad’s home health care nurse can also monitor his blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and fluid intake to make sure he’s doing okay. If additional care is necessary, his nurse will make the arrangements with his doctor. The goal of home health care is to keep your dad at home and avoid hospitalization.