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Caring for Individuals with COPD

By John W. Walsh

(Page 2 of 5)  

Education

To learn about COPD, caregivers can go online to find resources related to treatment, proper nutrition, pulmonary rehabilitation, medication, exercise and so on. In addition, they can:

  • Sign up for a COPD newsletter to keep pace with new developments and treatments

  • Join a support group either in the community or online

  • Learn about medication – and the proper way to take it

  • Know the equipment – oxygen therapy systems, including container, storage and delivery systems

  • Be well-prepared for emergencies

  • Become familiar with the types of exercise that benefit the individual with COPD – and stress its importance for mobility and extending quality of life

  • Become fluent in the terminology

“It’s important to have a level of knowledge that enables you to ask the physician effective questions on behalf of the COPDer, who may forget or be hesitant,” Anzalone says.

Communication

From the perspective of both the individual with COPD and caregiver, the biggest challenge can be communication. The individual with COPD must help the caregiver understand what they are experiencing, both emotionally and physically, while the caregiver must empower the individual and learn how and when to provide the right level of assistance. 

 

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