COPD? 7 Ways Home Care Can Help You Catch Your Breath
Posted: 7/11/2022 4:03 PM by
If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, you know what it means to struggle to breathe. While COPD may change the way you live, it doesn’t mean you must stop enjoying life.
While there is no cure, COPD is treatable. However, it may come with a new set of challenges that require fairly intensive lifestyle changes.
As you learn to live with COPD, you may need support at home to help manage the disease and the several activities of daily living. That’s where trained home healthcare professionals and home care aides can be helpful. If you or someone you love is struggling with COPD, check out these seven ways home care can help you catch your breath.
1. Develop A COPD Self-Care Plan
The top priority in COPD management is self-care. Your physician will set forth a plan of medical care for you to follow, but that’s only half the battle. As you navigate your COPD journey, you will learn what your priorities are. COPD can affect everyone in different ways, and you will need to determine what your personal self-care goals are.
Do you smoke and need help quitting? Homecare professionals can help. Want to learn what triggers your flare-ups and how to eliminate them? We can help with that, too. Not sure what you need help with? Talking with a home care provider is a great place to start. If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, but don’t have a team of healthcare professionals visiting you in your home regularly, ask your doctor if you could benefit from home care services. A home care team can help you manage your self-care goals and actions by working with your physician to develop a plan that is tailored to you.
2. COPD Medication Management At Home
A crucial part of managing COPD is following your prescribed medication regimen. After a diagnosis is made, your physician will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is best for your symptoms and lifestyle.
It’s very important to know what medication you are taking, how they work, potential side effects, and when refills are needed so you don’t miss a prescribed dose. If you struggle with medication management, home care can help by offering education, information, and resources to assist you.
3. Home-Based Rehab, Therapy, and Exercise
You have probably been told by your doctor that exercising has a multitude of benefits, including building endurance, improving your respiratory health, and reducing anxiety and stress. It may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you have trouble breathing, but doing it the right way can make a world of difference.
Your home care team can help motivate you and assist with your exercises, all while monitoring your symptoms. If you participate in pulmonary rehabilitation at an outpatient rehab clinic or medical facility, some aspects of the program can be performed at home with the help of licensed home care professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, and nurses.
4. Home-Based Monitoring of Respiratory Symptoms
Licensed home care therapists can monitor you during exercise, but depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may need someone to keep a close eye on you throughout the day. Home care aides are trained to monitor and evaluate your respiratory symptoms and can get you the help you need if they become severe.
5. Home Care Provides COPD Patients a Shoulder To Lean On
You may often feel lonely when you have COPD, especially when you have to make sure you avoid certain activities and environmental triggers. Home care professionals can fill the void for many COPD patients that feel isolated. Members of your home care team are compassionate companions when you need them most, especially if you do not have a family or friend who acts as your constant caregiver.
6. A Much Needed Break For COPD Caregivers
If you do have a caregiver, they most likely have a lot on their plate when it comes to managing your symptoms, medications, and triggers. Even if you don’t utilize home care services every day of the week, it can be an important tool to give your caregiver some breathing room and a much-needed break.
7. Help With Basic Household Chores That Take Your Breath Away
In addition to exercise, your doctor has most likely recommended changing your diet to help manage your weight and to ensure you have the nutrients required to fight your disease. You must be vigilant about following your physician's recommendations if you want to improve the quality of the air you breathe and eliminate COPD triggers that could lead to a flare-up. It can be overwhelming to take on a new diet and to be on high alert for triggers. This is another way home care aides can help you.
From assisting with meal preparation and ensuring you are meeting your dietary goals to helping with basic household chores like dusting or changing bed sheets, a home care aide is there to help with tasks you aren’t easily able to handle. If bathing, dressing, and grooming make it difficult to breathe, a home care aide can help conserve your energy by assisting with these tasks, as well.
COPD Knowledge Is Power
At Interim HealthCare, we believe in caring for the whole individual, not just one part—and it is embedded in every aspect of our care model. We believe in a holistic approach that engages the mind, body, spirit, and family to ensure you have an optimal care experience.
Care for the mind involves insight and understanding about COPD which leads to actions that produce new habits and positively impact outcomes.
For more information about COPD and the options available to you, visit here.