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5 Signs and Symptoms of COPD You Should Know

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung condition that affects millions of people. Different conditions can contribute to COPD, but the most common contributors are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. There are treatments available for the condition, so it’s important that older adults receive a diagnosis.

Home Care Services Santa Rosa CA - 5 Signs and Symptoms of COPD You Should Know

Home Care Services Santa Rosa CA – 5 Signs and Symptoms of COPD You Should Know

If you suspect your aging relative may have COPD, below are 5 signs and symptoms that you should know about.

#1: Cough That Won’t Go Away

Coughing is a common sign of COPD and usually one of the first older adults experience. The cough comes from the chest and doesn’t go away. It’s the body’s attempt to clear the lungs. The cough must last for 2 or more months to be considered chronic.

#2: Feeling Short of Breath

The “obstructive” in COPD means that the airways in the lung are narrowed. That makes it hard for air to get through them, causing shortness of breath. When COPD starts, the senior might only experience shortness of breath when they exert themselves. However, it usually gets worse over time. It can lead to the person being less physically active, which makes their health worse.

#3: Excess Mucus

The body needs mucus because it keeps airways from drying out and also traps germs that could cause lung infections. With COPD, the lungs produce more mucus than needed. The excess production is usually because of something the person has been breathing in that irritates the lungs. Smoking is a common reason for excess mucus production.

#4: Fatigue

Feeling tired all the time, even after resting, can be a sign that your aging relative has COPD. The fatigue is caused by the body not getting enough oxygen. In addition, it takes more effort for the senior to draw air in. The exertion involved in breathing can make the senior feel tired.

#5: Bluish Tint to Lips and Fingernails

The bluish tint that can occur with COPD is called cyanosis. It’s a sign that the blood doesn’t have enough oxygen in it. When blood has enough oxygen, it is red in color. However, when there is a lack of oxygen, blood is more of a dark blue color.

If your aging relative has COPD, home care services can assist them to live a better quality of life. A home care services provider can help them to follow the doctor’s advice for managing the disease. Home care services providers can remind the older adult to take their medication. Home care services providers can also allow the senior to rest when they are feeling fatigued because the provider can take care of things around the house, cook meals, answer the phone, and bring the senior things they need.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Santa Rosa CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.

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