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Posts Tagged “COPD”

Don’t Let the Stages of COPD Leave You Breathless

Stages of COPDIt impacts tens of millions of Americans, for a variety of reasons, but smoking and long-term chemical exposure are the top causes. And many simply struggle with the symptoms without even realizing there’s an official diagnosis for the breathing problems they’re facing. COPD, while currently without a cure, can be treated to ease symptoms, reduce the risk of developing further complications, and enhancing quality of life.

COPD can be broken down into four typical stages, although each person encounters the disease uniquely. Understanding these four stages and reviewing the particular symptoms and concerns your loved one is experiencing with the physician is a good starting point. Nightingale Homecare’s Arizona home health care professionals share helpful information on what to expect in each stage of the disease:

  • Mild (Stage 1): A chronic cough and an increase in mucous produced are often the first symptoms noted – and for some people in this stage, they aren’t bothersome enough to be very noticeable or to warrant a visit with the doctor.
  • Moderate (Stage 2): During this stage, COPD patients begin to struggle with shortness of breath, in addition to the continuing cough and mucous production. Symptoms are more troubling, and the doctor may prescribe a long-acting bronchodilator to help.
  • Severe (Stage 3): Frequency of symptoms is increased in this stage, as well as severity. Normal day-to-day functioning may become compromised at this point, and additional treatment methods may be employed by the doctor, such as oxygen therapy, corticosteroids, or other medications.
  • Very Severe (Stage 4): Symptoms continue to increase in both frequency and severity, and surgery may be considered. There is also an increased risk for serious health complications during this stage, such as heart and blood pressure problems, pneumonia, and lung cancer.

Depression is also a common risk factor in those with COPD, so it’s important to share any and all concerns – physical and emotional – with the senior’s medical team.

You can also call on the skilled medical care professionals at Nightingale Homecare for assistance. Our registered nurses and caregiving staff are available to help with all necessary care needs for those with COPD, from oxygen therapy, inhalation treatments, ventilator management and care, and other skilled care services, to compassionate companionship to engage in conversations, share in enjoyable activities together, and help with meals, housework – and everything in between. And, our Pathlink chronic disease management program helps those with conditions such as COPD learn a variety of innovative techniques to better manage their disease and improve their overall quality of life.

You can reach us at (602) 504-1555 any time with questions, to request additional COPD resources, and to learn more about our Arizona home health care for seniors.

These Arizona Home Care Tips Can Help COPD Caregivers Breathe Easier

Arizona home careWe do it without even thinking, tens of thousands of times each day. In fact, you’ve done it two or three times just in reading that first sentence. For most of us, breathing is so natural and easy, we hardly give it a thought. But for those with COPD, it’s a whole different story. The shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing that accompany the disease can be frightening. And often, those with COPD are reluctant to engage in activities that may further aggravate these symptoms.

If you’re providing care for a loved one with COPD, what’s the best way to help him or her maximize quality of life? Nightingale’s Arizona home care professionals suggest the following:

  • Encourage activity. Strong muscles take the stress off of the lungs and make everyday activities easier, but to strengthen muscles, it’s important to use them. With the doctor’s approval, encourage your loved one to remain as involved as possible in enjoyable activities, such as taking a walk together or other doctor approved activities.
  • Clear the air. Ensure that your loved one’s environment is free from pollutants and irritants like strong smelling cleaning products, and especially cigarette smoke.
  • Note triggers. Keep track of details surrounding occasions when your loved one’s symptoms worsen: times of day, activities leading up to the symptom exacerbation, environmental factors, etc.
  • Attend appointments. Accompanying your loved one to medical appointments allows you to take note of the doctor’s recommendations to ensure everything is captured and to share any concerns. Watching rehab sessions can also help caregivers better understand exactly what the person with COPD is able to accomplish as well as goals to continue working towards.
  • Get help. Trying to provide solo care for a loved one with COPD can quickly become overwhelming. It’s best for both the caregiver and the patient with COPD to enlist the help of trusted family, friends, neighbors or a professional home care agency such as Nightingale Homecare.

If your senior loved one struggles with COPD, our trusted Arizona home care services can be a tremendous help. We offer a full range of supportive private care, such as:

  • Preparing nutritious, delicious meals
  • Shopping and running errands
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Transportation and accompaniment to appointments
  • Medication reminders, and more

In addition, our medical services are available for those who need help with complex treatments like oxygen therapy, ventilator/respiratory services, infusions, inhalation treatments, and more, and our registered nurses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your comfort and peace of mind.

You can reach us any time at 602-504-1555 to learn more about how our Arizona home care can help improve quality of life for your senior loved one.

Posted in Blog, Senior Health on November 4th, 2016 · Comments Off on These Arizona Home Care Tips Can Help COPD Caregivers Breathe Easier