Seniors with asthma often breathe faster compared to people who aren’t afflicted with the disorder. Asthmatics tend to breathe through their mouths, which could expose the lungs to cool, dry air and trigger asthma attacks. However, there are several exercises designed to control breathing rate and depth and reduce the symptoms of asthma.
1. Using the Diaphragm
Also known as belly breathing, this technique is designed to maximize the distribution of air throughout the lungs. The exercise is performed while lying down or sitting upright. Seniors should sit or lie down in a comfortable position, then breathe in and out slowly through the nose. When inhaling properly, the abdomen should extend outward, not the chest. When exhaling, the abdomen should go inward. Exhalations should also be twice as long as inhalations.
Seniors with limited mobility or other health conditions can do breathing exercises with the help of professional caregivers. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a senior care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
2. Buteyko Technique
This method helps asthmatics by reducing respiration rates and increasing the volume of air taken into the lungs. Seniors can perform the exercise while sitting. They should close their eyes and tilt the head forward slightly, then relax the abdominal and chest muscles. The next steps include breathing softly through the nose while keeping the mouth closed, exhaling slowly through the nose until the lungs feel empty, and holding the breath for as long as possible.
3. Physical Exercise
This method combines breathing with physical movements. Seniors should tense the muscles from the shoulders to the abdomen, then relax. Breathing should be performed with the eyes closed and the body relaxed.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs assistance with exercises or other daily tasks. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Orlando, Florida, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
4. Papworth Technique
This method is ideal for seniors who have mild asthma. Many believe the technique to be effective for seniors who have attacks secondary to chronic mouth breathing or rapid breathing. Papworth is similar to the Buteyko and diaphragmatic breathing techniques, and it focuses on nasal breathing and adjusting the rate and depth of breathing to current physical activity. Seniors must remember to relax and breathe gently using the abdomen and diaphragm.
5. Pursed Lip Method
This type of breathing is recommended during an asthma attack. It releases air trapped in the lungs and promotes normal breathing rhythm. The technique involves inhaling slowly through the nose, then exhaling slowly through pursed or puckered lips as if about to whistle. Seniors should consciously breathe from the belly and not the chest, and each exhalation should be twice as long as the inhalation.
6. Progressive Relaxation
Seniors can use this method to regain control over breathing rhythm by inhaling slowly and shallowly through the nose and not the mouth. They should lie down, close their eyes, and relax all of the body’s muscles. Using the diaphragm, they should inhale and exhale slowly through the nose, then tighten the muscles of one foot, relax, and repeat with the other foot. This exercise can be repeated moving upward through the body until every muscle is relaxed. Once completed, seniors can remain in the relaxed position for as long as they desire.
Some family caregivers may find it difficult to fit in the time to help their senior loved ones with exercise. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide homecare services. Windermere families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. To learn more about our highly trained caregivers, call us at (407) 232-7155.