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Portable Oxygen Concentrator Resource Center

Simplify Morning Routines with COPD

Posted by Caleb Umstead on Oct 10, 2014 1:33:10 PM


Showering, getting dressed, and completing the daily load of laundry are basic morning routines, however, if you are a patient who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) then these basic activities can leave you gasping for breath and at a loss of energy. Breathlessness is one of the most common side effects and often drains you of energy, thus leaving you tired throughout the day making other plans extremely difficult to follow through with. Are you sick and tired of getting your day started only to be drained physically shortly after? If so, like many patients, there are a few minor adjustments to showering, getting dressed, and doing laundry that will preserve energy and make these routines incredibly easier. All you have to do aside from applying these into your life is continue reading.

Morning Routines Made Easy with COPD

Showering Made Easy

Showering in the morning is a routine we have all had since we were kids, however, now that you have COPD this basic and simplistic routine to others is a difficult and tiresome experience for you. Showering requires you to stand for a period of time, and that short time can lead to breathlessness and fatigue for the entire day. Though there are a few tips that you can use that will require less energy out of you while showering, and they include:

  • Set Up a Shower Chair - Purchase a chair that is designed for use in showers, and have either yourself or a loved one set it up in your bathroom. These chairs are fantastic as they provide you with the ability to sit down and bathe whenever you begin to feel short of breath or fatigued.

  • Use a Removable Shower Head - Furnish your shower with a removable shower head, so you can use the shower chair and have a free range of movement that standard shower heads simply cannot offer. The removable shower head could also eliminate the need to ever stand in the shower, however that is strictly up to you.

For safety reasons you should also consider installing a slip resistant shower mat, this will greatly reduce the occurrence of you slipping and falling in your shower.

Getting Dressed Made Easy

Getting dressed every morning used to be a no brainer, until the diagnosis of COPD. Dressing yourself everyday has become a tiresome task that sucks the energy right out of you, but did you know there are some things you can do to reduce the energy it takes to get dressed? Effectively giving you more energy for the day ahead! There are also types of clothes that you should opt for that will make breathing easier:

  • Pick an Outfit the Night Before - Check the weather report for the following day and plan your outfit accordingly. Waking up and having an outfit already picked out reduces having to go back and forth between the closet and bathroom until finding the right attire.

  • Sit When Possible - Whenever you are putting on makeup, shaving, or even doing your hair try sitting on a stool near a lower leveled mirror to reduce exerting energy. You should also sit while getting dressed, once you have your socks, pants, and shirt on you can then stand to pull them up.

  • Dress to Be Comfortable - Unless you are required to dress up for a work event or special gathering, you should opt to dress as comfortable as possible. You should also be sure that the comfortable clothes you do choose to wear are also equally as easy to put on. Pants with an elastic waist ban and button up shirts are extremely comfortable and easy to put on.

  • Stay Clear of Restricting Material - Try to avoid tight and constricting clothing materials such as spandex, as they can restrict your chest and abdomen making breathing even more difficult. Be careful of socks as well, as they can restrict blood flow to your feet. An alternative option to socks is to use compression free socks, if your doctor hasn't already prescribed them to you then bring it up to them in your next appointment.

  • Wear Easy to Remove Shoes - Constantly having to bend down and tie your shoes is both an annoyance and extremely tasking, eliminate this by wearing highly comfortable and easy to remove slip-on-shoes.

  • Cotton is King - Cotton is extremely lightweight, soft, and allows a plethora amount of airflow to keep you cool and reduce the amount you sweat.

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