Respiratory Management

Once respiratory problems have developed, what can I do?

  • Continue frequent deep breathing and coughing exercises.
  • Continue to turn every two hours.
  • Eliminate any foods that appear to cause chewing, swallowing, or choking problems.
  • Change the diet to include either soft or blended foods. Do not include anything that requires much chewing. Seek advice from a qualified dietician on diet changes. 
  • Utilise a thickener to improve the ability to handle fluids such as soups and blended foods.
  • Have the person sitting so that he/she swallows with less difficulty.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with continuing food and fluids by mouth, tube feeding can be initiated in a hospital setting. 
  • If diagnosed with pneumonia, make sure all of the antibiotic is given. Do not stop, even if temperature returns to normal and no more abnormally coloured secretions are present.
  • For very serious situations, obtain a bedside suction machine


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