Every home care worker knows that caring for someone varies depending on what conditions they have. Different conditions mean different modes of care – so how does that look for recipients of care with COPD?
What is COPD?
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term used to describe chronic lung conditions that impair an individual’s ability to breathe naturally. Many people with COPD start experiencing symptoms later in life, so can often be coupled with other health conditions.
Managing COPD symptoms carefully is key to preventing respiratory infections that could be more serious. These symptomatic periods are known as flare-ups and can be very uncomfortable for the individual, severely impacting the quality of life.
How can COPD home care help?
COPD home care is one way to avoid those flare-ups. There are a range of tips and tricks that can help manage COPD and make sure that symptoms are kept to a minimum – as much as possible.
What are some tips for effective COPD home care?
- Make sure that the recipient of care has frequent access to fresh air. This is vital for keeping respiratory functions healthy. Daily walks outside, keeping the window open as much as possible, and keeping an air purifier in the living room or bedroom can be very helpful for this.
- Avoid going outside on particularly foggy, rainy, or windy days. It’s good to stay active, but humid or heavy air can irritate the respiratory system and could trigger a flare-up.
- Regular exercise and healthy eating are also both vital for making sure people stay healthy. Labored breathing can also act as a trigger, so keeping up with fitness is a must.
- Depending on the individual’s symptoms and severity of disease, doctors may prescribe medications. As a caregiver, you could possibly assist your recipient of care with remembering to take their medications. A big part of COPD home care is keeping track of these medications and monitoring your loved one’s condition and symptoms. You can offer observations and information about exercise, symptoms, and how they are responding to their treatments.
You are also on hand to watch out for warning signs of an exacerbation of symptoms. Here are a few to watch out for:
- Excessive trouble breathing during everyday activities
- Greater than usual coughing or coughing-related chest pain
- Increased mucus production or change in the appearance of mucus
- Swelling in the hands or feet
- Cramping of muscles
- Fatigue or unusual weakness
- Trouble sleeping that is related to shortness of breath
You should always call a medical professional if you notice any changes in these areas. For general advice on COPD home care, remember that you can also always reach out to the Best Care team at (651) 330-2550. We are here to make sure everyone gets the best level of care possible!