Five Techniques to Help with Breathing Trouble at the End of Life

October 1, 2019

Your elderly family member may find that breathing difficulty are something that gives her the most concern as she nears the end of her life. Feeling deprived of oxygen can cause her to experience increased anxiety and any number of other emotional responses that can be agitating for her and for you.


Make Use of Windows and Fans

Getting a little bit more air circulating can help your elderly family member to feel more confident about her breathing. If there’s a window nearby, using that and a fan in conjunction can help get a bit of a breeze going. Keep some light blankets nearby in case the increase in air circulation feels a little too cool for your senior.


Gather Pillows and Cushions

If your elderly family member is lying down flat, that can create some problems for her with breathing. Propping her up just a little bit can help her to breathe a little bit more easily. Gather pillows and cushions of various sizes to adjust for the height that she needs.


Consider Medication Changes

Medication always has an impact on your senior and that impact can be positive or a little more on the negative side. It’s a good idea to check with your senior’s doctor to see if any of the medications your senior is taking might be giving her trouble with breathing. It’s also possible that adding some medications, especially if she’s feeling anxious about her breathing, can make a difference.


Relaxation Exercises Might Help

Relaxation exercises help to calm anxiety and frustration that your senior might be feeling around the breathing trouble she’s experiencing. When your senior is calmer, her breathing will naturally slow down and she might find that she breathes a lot easier than she did when she was initially feeling short of breath. This is something you can walk her through and do together.


So Can Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen therapy might be an answer for your senior. She might be worried about treatments that veer too much toward attempting to cure her ailments, but oxygen is more of palliative treatment. It can help her to get the oxygen that she needs and to feel calmer. She might experience a little more energy and be able to stay awake longer than without oxygen, too.

There are so many reasons that can contribute to breathing trouble for your senior when she’s near the end of her life. Hospice elder care providers can help you both to find the combination of solutions that help her the most.


If you or a loved one have questions about Senior Care in Galloway, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice. Call today, we can help:  (609)-227-2400

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