Caregiver Resources - Lungs & Respiration

Chronic respiratory diseases are ongoing diseases of the airways and other parts of the lung. Some of the most common diseases are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, sleep apnea and work related exposure leading to lung disease(s). These chronic diseases have a major impact on an individual’s quality of life and also on family life, the community, and the health care system. (3) 

As individuals age, the lung tissue and air sacs can become weaker and lose elasticity, putting the older person at higher risk of: lung infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, shortness of breath, lower oxygen levels, (reducing the body's ability to fight diseases) and abnormal breathing patterns, which can lead to problems such as sleep apnea (episodes of stopped breathing during sleep). (2)

Complications from the flu can lead to pneumonia in the elderly and may result in hospitalization. In the elderly, the flu vaccine helps prevent pneumonia and hospitalization in 6 out of 10 people and can prevent death in 8 of 10 people.(1) The Pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for all adults 65 years of age and older, and for individuals less than 65 years of age in long-term care homes who have chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised (have weakened resistance to disease as a result of medications or a disease process).(3)

Contact your health care team to discuss what steps you can take to manage or slow the progress of the disease

References

1.   KFL&A Public Health Unit (2014). Retrieved May 2014 from:
      http://www.kflapublichealth.ca/Files/Resources/166_what_you_should_know_about_influenza.pdf

2.   Medline Plus (2014).  Retrieved  May 2014 from:
      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004011.htm

3.   Public Health Agency of Canada. (2013).   Chronic Respiratory Diseases.  Retrieved March 14, 2014 from:
      http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/crd-mrc/index-eng.php

This blog post provides general informaiton on the AirCare program in a questions and answers format. AirCare is a vehicle emissions monitoring program that has been introduced in many parts of the world.

This resource outlines some of the changes aging has on the body and their affects on the lungs. Information includes:

  • Changes to the bones and muscles of the chest and spine
  • Changes to lung tissue
  • Changes to the nervous system
  • Changes to the immune system
  • Common problems
  • Prevention
  • Other changes related to aging

This web page outlines the common environmental pollutants that can contribute to pulmonary diseases in both developed and developing countries. This resources offers a 'consumer version', with information in plain language, and a 'professional version' wtih more information and resources for individuals who have a more advanced level of medical literacy.

This information page provides an overview of asbestosis, its symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment. This resource offers a ' 'consumer version', with information in plain language, and a 'professional version' wtih more information and resources for individuals who have a more advanced level of medical literacy.

This Information booklet provides tips and resources for the public, patients and families affected by COPD to prevent, manage and slow the effects of the disease to improve their health and better manage the disease. Describes what COPD is and the symptoms. 40 Pages.