From my experience over the last 33+ years providing care at home for someone with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD, I have found home health care companionship to be the most critical factor in the non-medical home care aspect of this disease. While I have seen the cases of COPD decline over the years due to a decrease its main risk factors of smoking and second hand smoke, we still see about 5 percent of our service inquiries involve the care for it.
At some point many diagnosed with COPD will need some form of oxygen therapy, and Care Mountain has in Plano, TX and surrounding Dallas cities home health caregivers experienced in assisting with oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy and oxygen tanks are what most people seem to associate with the main home health care needed for COPD. But, this is not where the main benefit of a non-medical home health caregiver usually comes in. Almost all the clients we have cared for with COPD seem to face a common heightened stressor: ANXIETY. Helping someone with COPD manage anxiety is one of the key roles home health caregivers can play in the care of this disease.
We can effectively cope with many health issues by localizing them, thus minimizing their impact. For example, the pain of recovering from a broken hip can often be coped with by localizing it to the hip and compartmentalizing it in a way that often does not take a bigger toll on one’s self. Having difficulty breathing though, such as with COPD, can not often be coped with in this manner and is often felt as if it’s a life threatening reminder when occurring. Thus you get stress from the anxiety in fear of, during and after a labored breathing episode. For some, basic activity of daily living labors their breathing and creates this anxiety and resultant stress.
A good experienced home health care provider will assist in ways that allows their client with COPD to stay engaged in physical and mental activity in a way that minimizes breathing issues developing. We have found that a client with COPD that does not say engaged in these types of activities, will tend to increasingly engage themselves with a preoccupation on their breathing concerns, which only creates more of the stress from anxiety that feeds on itself.
Finding these types of healthy activity for a COPD clients requires experience and some creativity. One of the most effective activities we have found involve short trips in the car (less than 50 minutes). Enjoying a good conversation while traveling to your local Braum’s drive though window for your favorite ice cream is a good example. Many with later stage COPD see even a short trip in the car as too much to handle, but with a caregiver to assist them and drive, they are usually willing.
Even though we have worked with many clients over the years with COPD, Ellen from Richardson, TX who we last helped over ten years ago comes to mind. Ellen’s son called Care Mountain for home health care in Richardson, Texas. Ellen was diagnosed with COPD and recently started using oxygen 24/7. She had been a very outgoing woman and was exceptionally fond of anything to do with nature walks. She used to spend summers at a beach front home in Carmel, California where she loved early morning walks on the beach. Walking was a huge part of her life, and she decided due to her condition she would cut this out, which seemed to cause her to be very depressed also.
We matched Ellen up with a caregiver (sorry I can not remember her name right now) who came up with the idea to drive Ellen to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Ellen was able to do some walking there, which she enjoyed, but what really impressed me was that her caregiver got her involved with volunteer work there where here prior history with nature was able to be helpful to visitors. This required very little physical effort (so it was manageable with COPD), but the mental efforts really paid off. We started to see Ellen smile again! We got Ellen out of her sedimentary lifestyle at home and into a situation where here mind took a respite from her COPD, and she felt valued and appreciated!CLICK HERE FOR FAQ
4925 Greenville Ave #276 Dallas, TX 75206
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