Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, commonly known as COPD, refers to group of the lung diseases that block airflow and make breathing difficult. Maintaining good airflow not only improves the obvious, keeping enough oxygen in your bloodstream, but also affects stamina and cardiac function.
The Allegiance Difference
A personalized COPD plan of care can prevent flair-ups, emergency room visits and hospitalization. Our home health team uses a multidisciplinary approach of nursing care and therapy to maintain a high quality of life and manage your disease.
Our nurses will monitor your symptoms, educate you and your family on signs and symptoms of worsening COPD and when to notify the physician. We will teach you and your family the common triggers of COPD and how to manage them to reduce flare-ups and hospitalizations.
Medication compliance with COPD is extremely important. Your nurses will instruct you on your medications including on how to use inhalers, the schedule and the importance of adherence to medication regimen in management of COPD. Our staff will educate you on breathing techniques to help you get the air you need without working so hard to breathe. Nutrition and diet play a role in managing your COPD. Understanding the role of diet and fluid intake and their effect on lung function and breathing is important in improving your quality of life. Skilled nursing will instruct you on how to avoid loss of weight or malnutrition that can occur with the disease. They will educate you on the effects of being overweight has on your breathing status. The nurses will also teach you and your family on use of your oxygen and oxygen therapy precautions.
Physical therapy will help COPD patients achieve optimal level of function and activity by reducing amount of breathlessness (dyspnea) and prevent the need for hospitalization.
Physical therapists will implement an exercise regimen designed to strengthen the pulmonary system, building muscle strength and endurance. Physical therapy will assist you in being able to perform more activity without becoming short of breath. This is accomplished is by teaching some breathing techniques, such as pursed lip breathing, how to pace self during activities and other energy conservation techniques.
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions that make up COPD. Chronic bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. Emphysema occurs when the air sacs (alveoli) at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) in in the lungs are gradually destroyed. Lung damage from COPD cannot be reversed but treatment can control the symptoms and minimize further damage.
Symptom of COPD don’t appear till lung damage has occurred and they usually worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of COPD include:
- Shortness of breath during physical activities
- Chest tightness
- Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning due to excess mucus in your lungs
- Chronic cough that produces sputum that may be clear, white, yellow or greenish
- Cyanosis (blueness) of the lips or fingernails
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Lack of energy
- Unintended weight loss
There is no cure for COPD. The primary goals in managing COPD are preventing exacerbation (worsening), manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those who have it.
Let Us Help
Living with COPD can be a challenge. Performing the simplest tasks can become so difficult and exhausting. Our caring private duty home health care staff can assist with some of your daily tasks so that you can conserve your energy to do the things you enjoy. The Home Health Aide can grocery shop, prepare nutritious meals, assist with bathing and dressing, transport to medical appointments, run errands and do light housekeeping and companionship all in the comfortable surroundings of home.