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What Is COPD Care?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic condition that restricts airflow into the lungs. This can be debilitating for some people and can prevent them from living their life as they would otherwise want to. Despite there being no cure for COPD, various lifestyle changes can make a difference to the condition and how much it interferes with your daily life.

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How Can COPD Care Be Provided at Home?

Helping Hands cares for many customers living with COPD at home, as like many conditions it can be managed through a combination of medication, treatment and lifestyle choices. Our carers can come to you on either a visiting or a live-in care basis, meaning that you can either have regular, prearranged visits from our carers or one of them can reside in your home with you.

This can be especially reassuring to loved ones who may not live near, as they will know that you have someone with you regularly or all the time and your care is being provided to the highest standards.

How Our Carers Can Help Manage COPD

Our carers can be instrumental in supporting someone to live better with COPD. Whether caring on a visiting basis or living-in your home with you, our carers will be at the forefront of encouraging you to follow a healthy lifestyle to try and reduce the impact your COPD symptoms have on your day-to-day life.

From supporting you to eat a healthy diet, keep active, or helping you control your breathing, our carers will be a central part of you living well with your condition at home. They are also a great help with personal care, getting dressed and with household tasks that could leave you breathless, such as vacuuming, dusting and making beds.

Keeping Active

Keeping active can make a lot of difference to how chronic your COPD is. Being fitter and more active will enable you to improve your breathing and has wider health benefits too. For instance, keeping a healthy weight and remaining active will reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. You should always talk to your doctor before you begin any new exercise regime as they can refer you to pulmonary rehabilitation, which will help you to decide which type of exercise is right for you and which you will enjoy more.

This is also important because the more you enjoy exercise the more likely you are to keep doing it. Your carer will happily accompany you to exercise out of the house, whether it’s dance classes or just going for a brisk walk; or if you prefer to stay active at home, they can help you with light gardening or even just supporting you to walk around the living room.

Helping You Control Your Breathing

Being able to control your breathing mentally as well as physically is important in COPD. This is because if you are becoming breathless then breathing techniques can help you but so can thinking about the way you’re breathing. Consequently, the more you are struggling to breathe the more anxious you’ll become, which in turn will make it harder to breathe. This vicious cycle can mean symptoms become unmanageable and necessitate medical intervention.

Your carer can help you with breathing techniques at home; for instance, encouraging you to focus on them as you breathe together, as well as being a calming support for you when you feel anxious. They can also help you with other tasks to reduce the risk of you getting out of breath, offering tips their experience has taught them such as using a towelling robe after showering rather than drying yourself with a towel to minimise exertion.

Your carer can help with this and all other aspects of your care to help you manage your breathing more effectively.

Helping Manage A Balanced Diet

Our carers can help you to eat a balanced diet through supporting and encouraging your food choices, grocery shopping and meal preparation. The impact of this will be maintaining a healthy weight, which in turn can help you to manage your symptoms through being more active.

If you are struggling to eat because to do so makes you feel breathless, you should talk to your doctor or nurse about alternatives, which your carer will then be able to support you within your own home.

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing

Emotional stress can weaken the immune system, which can then lead to a worsening of COPD symptoms and the risk of respiratory infections. Having a carer at home with you can provide you with companionship and be a welcome friend, as well as being someone who can share a cup of tea with you and chat about how you’re feeling.

Many things can affect your emotional wellbeing, including the effect that physical symptoms such as breathlessness and coughing have on you. These can make you feel more tired, while other associated symptoms can mean you feel stressed, anxious or depressed.

Learning more about your condition can often be helpful in learning to manage it, which can then have a positive impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Discovering if there is a local support group in your area will be something your carer can help you with, as well as supporting you to get there if you’d rather not go alone.

Arranging COPD Care with Helping Hands

Arranging COPD care with Helping Hands is as easy as making the first call to our customer care specialists. They’re available seven days a week to advise you and arrange for one of our dedicated managers to come to your home and conduct an assessment. If you’d rather contact us via our website that is no problem, as we’ll be happy to call you back.

Page reviewed by Jackie Geary, Regional Clinical Lead on November 10, 2021