Wanting to help someone in need is a natural feeling that all human beings experience, that drive to help someone is further increased when you know someone personally that suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other chronic lung diseases. There are many things you can do that can help your friend or loved one tremendously, many of those things range from simply going on a walk with them or rearranging their home. Today we will be covering different areas that you can help out even in the slightest bit to improve their overall quality of life.
6 Ways You Can Improve Someone's Life with COPD
Opt to be an Exercise Partner
Though physical exercise requires a lot more energy in someone that suffers from a chronic lung disease such as COPD and can leave them feeling winded, a little physical exercise on a day to day basis will gradually improve both their physical strength and lung strength. Your loved one should first talk to their doctor about exercising to see if it is safe, they will then either clear them or not based upon their health. You should always talk to their doctor before starting a new routine, as their doctor will provide insights as well as help design a proper daily exercise routine.
Have Nothing but Patience for Them
The saying don't judge others unless you've walked a mile in their shoes really comes into fruition when caring for a friend or loved one with a chronic lung disease. The biggest tip is to have patience with them and never cause a sense of urgency in anything they do, chronic lung disease patients have a harder time completing basic tasks which equals them taking a longer time to finish them. When offering a helping hand you want to be sure you are not taking their sense of independence from them, if they don't want your help with a specific task simply step back and let them do it all on their own.
Simplify Their Home Life
Whether it's food ingredients or personal hygiene products, you should ask them about their most commonly used products and organize them in their house so they are both easily and quickly accessible. You should also be sure to keep them away from many common household cleaners, as the chemical fumes can irritate their lungs making it harder for them to breathe. So when it comes time to clean their house, simply request to do it for them and have them leave the house. You should also be sure to open some windows to reduce cleaning fumes from lingering around once you are finished. Another great method to improve their home life is to get them a wheeled laundry basket, that way they can toss all their clothes and roll them to the washing machine instead of making multiple back and forth trips. Click here to view another blog post with tips on how to simplify daily life with COPD.
Help Them Stay Germ Free
Be aware of your own personal health, or in other words you should be aware of when you are coming down with a slight cold or sickness. Helping your loved one with a chronic lung disease has countless benefits, though if you are sick and are contagious you are reversing those benefits by infecting them with germs. COPD and other chronic lung disease patients are more susceptible to potential infections, as their lung disease has weakened their immune system dramatically. So do them a favor and help them stay healthy and stay away until you are feeling better, to better protect them from further infections you should urge them to get a yearly flu shot.
Aid Them in Quitting Smoking
Smoking is the leading cause of chronic lung diseases and may be the reason your friend or loved one has a diagnosis, so you should do everything you can to help them quit such a nasty and unhealthy habit. Simply being a support system throughout their journey to quit smoking and to applaud their efforts can be exactly what they need to finally quit!
Keep Them in a Positive Mindset
Living with a chronic lung disease like COPD can cause feelings of anxiety, stress, anger, and depression which can really begin to affect their quality of life causing them to feel worse. The best thing to do is sit down and talk to them about their symptoms or other aspects of the disease that are bothering them, getting them to talk to their doctor or join a support group of patients alike will help them connect and learn from patients that have actually been there and done that.