COPD is a complex lung condition that affects millions of people. Living with COPD can be difficult, but it’s easier when your senior is willing to conserve some of her energy. That means that she’s spending her energy wisely, especially on days that she’s not feeling as well.
It’s Imperative That She Moves Some
Moving may seem like something that is going to sap your elderly family member’s energy, but it’s really beneficial for her. It helps her lungs to keep working as much as they’re able. Your elderly family member’s lungs are muscles and just like any muscles, they get weaker the less they work. The goal isn’t to overtax her body at all. Your senior’s doctor can help her to determine exactly how much exercise is right for her current needs and condition.
Stress Management Is Also Key
Most people don’t realize how much of a toll stress can take on overall health. For someone with COPD, reducing stress levels as much as possible is vitally important. Work with your elderly family member to determine what’s causing her the most stress right now, so that you can work together to put solutions in place. Solutions can range from you taking over more of the stressful tasks for her, like dealing with her insurance company, to having home care providers come in and help with household tasks.
Sort Out What Triggers Create Problems for Her
In addition to stress and to inactivity, there are other factors that can trigger breathing issues. It’s a good idea to get as familiar as possible with all of the triggers your senior might have so that you can help her to avoid them. These are things like allergic reactions, smells, or even becoming overly agitated. Anything that can make breathing difficult for your senior can be a trigger.
She Needs to Get Used to Letting Other People Do Things
It’s really difficult to do, but your senior needs to become a little more accustomed to letting people do things for her. She may have always been the helper or the “doer of things” in her household, but that doesn’t have to still be the case. Letting someone else, like a home care provider, handle certain tasks for her ensures that she’s got the energy she needs to be able to do the things she wants to do.
Encourage your senior to work with her doctor to determine a more detailed plan for conserving energy. Everyone with COPD has slightly different needs and by tailoring her experience she can make the most of the lung capacity she still has.