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Developing a COPD Care Plan

Jan 29, 2015 8:47:00 AM

According to the C.O.P.D. Foundation, approximately 24 million Americans are affected by C.O.P.D. C.O.P.D. stands for chronic obstructive pulmony disease. C.O.P.D. is not a specific condition, but rather a group of diseases affecting the lungs, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In most cases of C.O.P.D., breathing difficulties are a result of lung damage and blocked airways. There is currently no cure for C.O.P.D., but it may be possible to develop an effective C.O.P.D. care plan that helps to relieve symptoms.

COPD-Care-Plan

Quitting Smoking

Smoking is the largest contributing factor to the development of C.O.P.D. and can exacerbate symptoms. Once diagnosed, C.O.P.D. patients should quit smoking to stop damage. A home care provider may be able to assist senior patients in choosing a quit date and taking steps to quit smoking.

Medication & Treatments

Physicians may prescribe inhalers to help open a patient’s airways and reduce inflammation of the lungs. Additional anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed. In severe cases, oxygen therapy, nebulizers, and breathing machines may be used to help patients breathe easier. Home caregivers can help patients to take medications and use breathing aids daily as part of a C.O.P.D. care plan.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

Exercise can help patients to maintain a healthy weight. Both exercise and weight management can help to mitigate C.O.P.D. symptoms. Exercise is best done with the supervision of a physical therapist, as breathing techniques are very important for C.O.P.D. patients. Over time, exercise can assist with lowering blood pressure and heart rate, which can improve breathing. Regular trips to a physical therapist or daily exercises at home under the advice of a therapist or physician may be part of a successful C.O.P.D. management program.

Daily Eating Plan

Eating a healthy balanced diet every day may help to alleviate some symptoms of C.O.P.D. A balanced diet can reduce inflammation and control weight, while ensuring proper nutrition that prevents the condition from worsening. A home caregiver can create a meal plan that will be agreeable to the patient, nutritious, and helpful for symptoms.

Home Air Quality

C.O.P.D. symptoms can become aggravated by allergens in the home. As part of a C.O.P.D. care plan, patients and caregivers can work together to improve air quality within the home. The installation of ventilators or air purifiers may help to cut down on allergens like dust and pet dander. Caregivers can help with household chores to reduce the presence of known allergens. Seniors with C.O.P.D. may also find it helpful to install a humidifier or dehumidifier to control the amount of moisture in the air.

Topics: Healthy Living

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