Living with lung disease, specifically COPD, presents older adults with some unique challenges. From increased risk of infections like pneumonia and the flu to swelling in the extremities to emotional challenges like anxiety and depression, COPD is a complicated chronic illness that requires constant care. The good news is that small adjustments to your lifestyle can reduce flare-ups and make a big impact on quality of life.
Those with lung disease can benefit from these tips for conserving energy, allowing for easier breathing:
Around the Home
- Keep daily use items, including clothing, between waist and shoulder level to minimize reaching and bending.
- Use a shower stool and a hand-held shower nozzle when showering.
- If the bedroom is upstairs, consider moving it downstairs or plan the day to avoid multiple trips up and down the stairs.
- Avoid wearing clothes that are tight in the chest or abdomen. Tight clothing such as belts, bras and girdles can restrict breathing,
- Heavy clothing, like coats and sweaters, require extra energy to wear and should be avoided when possible.
- Sit down to dress and undress and employ the use of aids such as long handled shoehorns and reachers if needed.
At the Store
- Enlist the help of an in-home caregiver from Hillendale Home Care for assistance with grocery shopping, or use an online grocery ordering service.
- Get a handicapped parking tag that will allow you to park closer to the entrance of the store.
- Request that refrigerated items be bagged together so they can easily be put away when returning home, leaving other items to be put away when feeling less tired.
- Enlist the help of one of our Concord home care experts for meal preparation and cleanup.
- Search for steps that can be removed from your preparation, such as using clean dishes directly from the dishwasher to set the table and storing clean pots and pans on the stove rather than the cupboards.
- Eat several small meals during the day, rather than three large ones. A full stomach presses against the diaphragm, preventing the lungs from filling completely. Additionally, digesting a large meal pulls blood and oxygen to the stomach and away from the lungs.
- It may seem counter-intuitive to say that exercise can help a person with little energy, but exercising tones the muscles to make them work more efficiently. This also counteracts the loss of muscle mass and strength due to inadequate oxygen.
- Work with a physician to develop an individualized exercise program.
If you have a loved one who is living with lung disease, Hillendale Home Care can provide much needed assistance with supplemental Concord home care services to improve quality of life. Whether the senior needs respectful assistance with personal care tasks like bathing and dressing, help with housework, meals, transportation and running errands, or simply a kind, caring friend to talk to and engage in enjoyable activities together, our fully trained and experienced caregivers are here for you. Contact our Concord home care team at 925-933-8181 to learn more.