Seniors with COPD have had to remain especially vigilant since the COVID-19 pandemic started, because they are likely at both an increased risk for contracting the virus and also for developing more serious complications. A newly released study published by the European Respiratory Journal reported that people with COPD were more apt to be admitted into the ICU, require ventilator care, and succumb to the virus than those without the disease.
And even though the CDC gives suggestions for all of us, as well as those diagnosed with COPD, in order to avoid contracting the illness, such as frequent handwashing, social distancing, and staying home whenever you can, one advisory is particularly a struggle for someone with breathing difficulties: wearing a face covering. The American Lung Association suggests that individuals diagnosed with COPD try a number of different kinds of coverings to discover the one that’s most comfortable, and wear the mask around the house for brief periods of time in order to become more accustomed to the feeling.
Further recommendations include:
- Continue to take care of your COPD as recommended by the doctor, with modifications to curb your contact with others, such as telehealth appointments and mail-order prescriptions.
- Boost your body’s defense system with a healthy diet and a lot of rest, and be sure to follow the physician’s recommended plan for treatment.
- Take proper care of your emotional health to lower anxiety and stress. Switch off the social media and the news and participate in pleasant and gratifying activities instead. And make sure to consult with a mental health professional as needed for assistance with managing stress and combating depression.
Of particular significance for those with COPD is the importance of frequent exercise. According to David Au, MD, professor at the University of Washington Medical School’s division of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine, due to the fact that COPD causes shortness of breath, physical exercise is particularly challenging. He, as well as the Respiratory Health Association, suggest (with physician approval):
- Strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis, at least three times every week.
- Try leg lifts, marching in place, and arm circles, making use of canned goods or small weights.
- Go up and down stairs
- Include yoga breathing exercises.
These resources offer more helpful suggestions specific to COPD issues during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- The American Lung Association
- The Respiratory Health Association
- The COPD Foundation
- Living with COPD
For specialized in-home care for individuals diagnosed with COPD or other chronic conditions, call on Responsive Home Care. Our staff are fully trained and experienced in providing personalized care to help make life safer and much more enjoyable. You may reach us any time at 954-486-6440 and find out why we’re the home care company Ft. Lauderdale, FL families (and other surrounding areas) trust and recommend most. To learn more about all of the areas we serve in Florida, please visit our Service Area page.