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Humidifiers For The Elderly

We never like to think that our parents are getting older, but when they do we should do everything to keep them safe, healthy, and comfortable as possible. If they are really old, you got to pay attention to the smallest of detail, and that means adapting your care approach to the current weather and humidity conditions. If your loved seniors have trouble breathing, respiratory problems, or suffer from COPD ( Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) investing in a humidifier is compulsory.

Humidifiers increase humidity in the air, by adding moisture to fight with the dry indoor air. They also offer a dozen health and wellness benefits including lowering your risk of infection, helping battle dry and cracked lips, easing your breathing, and soothing the skin. They also prevent wood furniture, floors, and musical instruments from cracking.

Humidifiers are not usually senior-friendly. Many models require carrying a full tank of water from the sink to the humidifier and are often demanding to clean.

We never like to think that our parents are getting older, but when they do we should do everything to keep them safe, healthy, and comfortable as possible. If they are really old, you got to pay attention to the smallest of detail, and that means adapting your care approach to the current weather and humidity conditions. If your loved seniors have trouble breathing, respiratory problems, or suffer from COPD ( Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) investing in a humidifier is compulsory.

Humidifiers increase humidity in the air, by adding moisture to fight with the dry indoor air. They also offer a dozen health and wellness benefits including lowering your risk of infection, helping battle dry and cracked lips, easing your breathing, and soothing the skin. They also prevent wood furniture, floors, and musical instruments from cracking.

Humidifiers are not usually senior-friendly. Many models require carrying a full tank of water from the sink to the humidifier and are often demanding to clean.

 

How to use the humidifier to benefit your elders

 Select the proper humidifier -  A humidifier is not a one size fits all solution. There are a number of various types of humidifiers and it is crucial to use the right one in order to guarantee the most welfare for your parents. Central humidifiers are actually inserted into the central climate control system of the home to provide humidification for the entire area. These are generally costly and need to be used throughout the entire home instead of in just the spaces where your parents need additional moisture.

Keep the humidifier clean -  Humidifiers carry water in reservoirs to transform into steam or mist to increase moisture in the air. If they are not being cleaned regularly, they could turn into a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria that is simply processed right into the air where it becomes part of the air you, your aging loved ones, their non-medical in-home caregiver, and anyone else who may visit the home breathes. These particles also stick onto all of the surfaces of the home, giving the optimal environment for germs to flourish, which is particularly troublesome during the cold and flu season of fall and winter.

 Regulate the moisture -  Get a hygrometer to measure the level of moisture in your seniors’ air. This will help you to figure out how much humidification they require in pursuance to getting the air comfortable and healthy without creating a moist, damp, and potentially dangerous environment within the home. Again, a central humidifier would be extremely beneficial in this case, as it does not require your constant intervention by automatically measuring and keeping the humidity level suitable.

What to look for in a humidifier for elders

I - Top-fill

Top-fill humidifiers are specifically modeled humidifiers that are easy to fill from the top.

The water tank can be filled directly by just pouring water into it from a jug. Elders do not need to hassle themselves by carrying the humidifier to the sink, they can just keep it by their bedside and fill it whenever they like.

II - Adjustable Humidistat

With the adjustable humidistat, there’s no need for estimations.  It measures the humidity level in the room and regulates its output or power function accordingly. This is perfect for anyone who ever turns a humidifier on only to turn it off when the humidity levels are matching those in a rainforest.

Like a regular thermostat, it has its up and down buttons and its easy to adjust. You should read your owner’s manual and try out the recommended settings. If those don’t work try a higher or lower humidity percentage until you figure out your ideal number. Mind that most homes’ humidity levels stay between 35 percent and 40 percent.

III - Antibacterial reservoir and filtration system

Humidifiers produce a lot of internal condensation and they are known to be the harbors for bacteria. The bacteria can be disseminated when you turn the unit on, negating all the desired health benefits. Whether your parents have a good immune system, you shouldn’t bring home something that can affect their health. Humidifiers that do not possess this system require constant cleaning and maintenance. Save your parents’ energy ( or yours if you are providing them care) and get a humidifier with this system.

IV - Permanent filter

Most evaporative humidifiers need to have their filters changed every two months. This can be hard for an elderly person, especially if they suffer from hand/finger problems or arthritis.
Remove this unnecessary chore by getting a permanent filter. A permanent filter never needs to be replaced, but it will need cleaning at the end of the cold season and perhaps some dusting at the start of the season if it has not been used for a long time.

V - Remotely operated interface

Your seniors’ humidifier should definitely be operated by a remote. Especially if they are not that mobile. Getting a humidifier with a remote control could mean the difference between frequent use of the humidifier and it not being used at all. The remote should be easy to use, with large buttons and text.

VI - Indicator lights and automatic shutoff

If your loved ones are used to forgetfulness, getting them a humidifier with water level indicator lights and automatic shutoff option could significantly benefit them. The lights will remind you to refill the tank and the automatic shutoff option turns the power off if the water level gets too low, preventing any damage.

VII - Multiple fan speeds

There are three things in correlation when we talk about fan speed.

  • How fast is the humidity being released
  • How fast will the tank get empty
  • How loud is the unit going to be

I think we can all assume that if the tank gets emptier faster, we are going to reach a certain level of humidity quicker, and also the unit is going to be louder.

Having multiple fan speeds is a great characteristic if the elderly are having some visitors and want to raise the humidity faster, or to set it to the lowest speed during the night so that it makes the least noise.

Conclusion

Humidifiers can be very helpful to seniors, especially if they suffer from respiratory diseases or other health problems. They are easy to maintain, so you shouldn’t worry about your elders struggling with handling them.

References

If you require more information, please check these references

Effect of electrically heated humidifier on intraoperative core body temperature decrease in elderly patients , article, "www.anesth-pain-med.org", retrieved on, Fri 03-July-2020

Effects of setting up of humidifiers on thermal conditions and subjective responses of patients and staff in a hospital during winter , article, "www.sciencedirect.com", retrieved on, Fri 03-July-2020

Maintenance of body temperature in elderly patients who have joint replacement surgery , article, "onlinelibrary.wiley.com", retrieved on, Fri 03-July-2020

After I had a bout of sinusitis, I spent every hour looking for something that would allow some kind of relief form the pain. This was when I found the humidifier. This came as a great surprise to me, as I assumed that these were just “toys”

After this blessed release from sinusitis, I decided to investigate these things further

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