Saint Paul, Minnesota
275 East 4th Street, Suite 345, Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 796-2540
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Seniors and Respiratory Health: 4 Tips for Better Breathing

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Respiratory health is important for everyone but can be especially critical for seniors. Here are 4 tips for better breathing and how older adults can combat respiratory illnesses today. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 7 middle-aged and older adults suffer from some form of lung disease. Focusing on respiratory health is one of the most important things you can do to help live a long life and maintain physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Respiratory illnesses have been shown to affect much more than just physical health. According to a recent study, chronic diseases, such as Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung disease, can lead to increased health costs and cognitive decline. 

Identifying respiratory illness can be a challenge. If you have symptoms including difficulty breathing, chest pain, loud breathing, chronic mucus, or an on-going cough, it may be time to consult a doctor and/or get immediate care. 

There are many things that you can start doing today to maintain and improve respiratory health. Here are 4 tips for better breathing. 

Avoid or Stop Smoking

Smoking can lead to a plethora of health issues, including respiratory illness. If you are a smoker, now is a great time to consider investing in your health by putting down the pack. According to the CDC, smoking is directly responsible for almost 90% of lung cancer and COPD deaths throughout the United States. 

By quitting smoking you can improve your respiratory health by reducing the risk of developing COPD or other lung diseases, slowing the progression of COPD if you already have it. You may also reduce the loss of lung function over time and respiratory symptoms including cough, sputum production, and wheezing. 

If you are a smoker and want to take the first step to quit, there are many support options available to you or your senior loved one, including government resources such as

Create a Regular Exercise Routine

One of the best ways to maintain and improve respiratory health is by living an active lifestyle and exercising regularly. According to national guidelines, it is recommended that adults partake in at least 30 mins of physical exercise daily. Physical exercise helps to improve circulation and strengthens the tissue around your lungs. 

Daily exercise can be as basic as walking a little each day, participating in gentle chair yoga, using a resistance band while seated in a chair, or cleaning your home. Before you start any exercise program, make sure to speak with your doctor about the risks and adjust your physical activity to your own personal capabilities. 

Get Regular Respiratory Screens 

Annual screenings can help you catch respiratory issues quickly. Screenings are especially important if you are a smoker. Detecting lung diseases early can improve the likelihood that they can be cured or slowed down. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, lung cancer screenings significantly reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer. 

Stay Hydrated 

Believe it or not, staying hydrated can help you with respiratory health. Hydration leads to an improved immune system which can help you fight off viruses and dehydration. According to the Mayo Clinic, men should drink about 15.5 cups of water per day, and women should drink 11.5. Keep in mind that lifestyle, activity, and physical health also influence how much water is needed to stay hydrated. It is best to speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about hydration. 


Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally can help you maintain and improve respiratory health. A few of the best ways to combat lung diseases include not smoking, exercising regularly, getting screened annually, staying hydrated, and staying up-to-date on vaccinations.  

At Comfort Keepers, we help seniors stay in the comfort of their own homes and maintain independence. While providing in-home care, we also help seniors with transportation to and from doctors appointments, safely engage in exercise, and access any changes in physical conditions. If you would like to learn more about Comfort Keepers and how we help seniors, and other adults, maintain respiratory health, call (651) 796-2540