Living with Lung Disease

Pause for a moment and take a deep, cleansing breath. If you’re like most people, that felt invigorating and refreshing! However, if you’re one of millions of Americans suffering from some form of lung disease, that deep breath could have been a challenge. One of the leading causes of death in the U.S., the term “lung disease” covers a full range of disorders affecting the lungs: COPD, asthma, pneumonia, TB, and lung cancer, just to name a few of the more common ones. If you or a loved one struggles with issues related to lung disease, take note of these tips that can help ease the breathing process by conserving energy:

Around the House

  • Store items, including clothing, between waist and shoulder level to minimize reaching and bending.
  • Sit on a shower stool when showering and use a hand-held shower nozzle.
  • Place a chair in the hallway for resting if needed and sit down for tasks whenever possible.
  • Overall, break tasks into smaller steps and try not to rush, which can cause shortness of breath.

Dressing

  • Avoid clothing that is tight in the chest or abdomen that could restrict breathing, such as belts, bras and girdles.
  • Heavy clothing, such as coats and sweaters, can be exhausting, as these items require extra energy to wear.
  • Sit down to dress and undress and employ the use of aids such as long handled shoehorns and reachers if needed.

Shopping

  • Enlist the help of a Live Free Home Health Care caregiver for assistance with grocery shopping, or use an online grocery ordering service.
  • Obtain a handicapped parking sticker for closer parking to the entrance of the store.
  • Request that perishables be bagged together so they can easily be put away when returning home, leaving other items to be put away when feeling less tired.  

Mealtime

  • Enlist the help of a Live Free Home Health Care caregiver for meal preparation and cleanup.
  • Look for ways to cut steps out of your preparation, such as using clean dishes directly from the dishwasher to set the table and storing clean pots and pans on the stove rather than the cupboards.
  • Eat several small meals during the day, rather than three large ones. A full stomach presses against the diaphragm, preventing the lungs from filling completely. 

Exercise

  • It may seem counter-intuitive to say that exercise can help a person with little energy, but exercising tones the muscles to make them work more efficiently. This also counteracts the loss of muscle mass and strength due to inadequate oxygen.
  • Work with a physician to develop an individualized exercise program.

Live Free Home Health Care provides senior care services in the Lakes Region and Central New Hampshire to make life easier and less stressful for those with lung disease. Allow our fully trained caregivers to assist with personal care, housekeeping, physician-approved exercises, and more. Call us at 603-217-0149 to get started!

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