Google “Asthma and Kids” and see what comes up. You will find an endless array of online literature, websites, information, and videos on children and asthma. This is a good thing; almost 2.5 million Canadians suffer from asthma. Asthma is often more associated with children than other age groups. But, what about older adults and seniors who suffer from it? Information is out there, but it isn’t as expansive. Over 420,000 Canadians over the age of 65 have asthma. It is a growing problem as the numbers increase every year. There needs to be a shift in focus on older adults and asthma.
Asthma is a disease that causes obstructions of the airways which leads to coughing and difficulty in breathing. In more serious attacks, it can lead to hospitalization and even death. Though asthma is usually diagnosed in children, it can develop much later in life. Some people will demonstrate symptoms in their 70s and 80s. Asthma in seniors can be complicated. It creates a different type of dynamic than for those who are younger. A few things to remember about seniors and asthma can include:
- It is often misdiagnosed. Seniors are susceptible to any number of respiratory illnesses. Without close testing, it can be difficult to differentiate the two. Late-onset asthma can be confused with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which, though shares many of the same symptoms, requires different treatment.
Misdiagnosis can lead to a delay in treatment and further complications.
- Asthma attacks are a much greater risk to seniors than youth. Episodes are more likely to lead to hospitalization and respiratory failure. Unlike youth, asthma is less likely to go into remission with older adults. 
Causes and Treatment
No definite cause has been identified in the late-onset of asthma in older adults. Allergies to dust mites and cats, sinus disease, certain medications, and even estrogen replacements have been identified as possibly causing asthma.  With no distinct cause, it can be hard to avoid. However, treatment is possible. Long-term medication can help. A change in the environment can also cut down on the number of episodes. This may include eliminating triggers and allergens from the home. As with most medical conditions, some knowledge and research can go very far.
If your loved one suffers severely from asthma, then you may consider home care services. At iCare Home Health Services, we provided the best quality in Elderly and Home care services. Our Nurse At Home package will bring a qualified care giver to you to offer any medical assistance needed including asthma and any other respiratory illness. You feel at ease knowing that your family member is in capable and caring hands in their own home. Contact us today to talk to us about asthma or any other issue.