Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. By learning about symptoms and what causes them, you can gain a better feel for when the person you're caring for is having good days or bad days and when it's appropriate to call a healthcare provider if COPD symptoms get worse.
It's also important that you recognize what exacerbations are, why they occur, and how to help prevent them. Exacerbations are when symptoms are worse than usual. This can last for a few days or longer and often requires treatment with antibiotics, oral steroids, and, in some cases, hospitalization.
COPD symptoms keep many people from making plans for their day or cause plans to be cancelled because of unexpected discomfort due to coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Avoiding public places during cold and flu season and eating a balanced diet and taking medication regularly are very important for people with COPD. Home care allows people to avoid outside germs which may cause respiratory infections and to rest in familiar surroundings on days when breathing is difficult.
Caregivers can encourage regular exercise which can reduce symptoms and increase your endurance. Talk to your doctor about how much physical activity and what kinds of activities are best for you. These might be stretching exercises, an aerobic exercise like walking, or exercise aimed at strengthening your muscles.
Of course, there are many things you can do on your own. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about stopping and choosing a healthy diet. Colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections cause problems for people with COPD, so it's important that you do your best to avoid them and consider the appropriate vaccinations.
People with COPD can become exhausted just trying to do daily household chores and not have the energy to enjoy life. A professional caregiver from a licensed home care agency can take care of routine chores, fix meals, and do laundry so people with this illness can have the energy to enjoy their home and family.
Abby Senior Care is a leader in home care. Call us today to find out how the support of a professional caregiver can improve the quality of life for your loved one and your family. Call us today at 303-699-8840.