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November 21, 2016

Breathe Easier with These COPD Tips | Scottsdale Home Healthcare

Scottsdale Home HealthcareTaking a deep, cleansing breath can relieve stress, help us relax, reduce pain, and even create a better acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. But for those with COPD, the thought of breathing deeply can have the exact opposite effect: inducing feelings of anxiety about the coughing and wheezing to follow.

In fact, COPD fears can create a vicious cycle that can actually exacerbates symptoms:

  • The senior with COPD is so concerned about engaging in any activities that might cause symptoms to flare, she avoids them altogether
  • Reduced activity leads to weakened muscles
  • Muscle weakness results in more breathing problems, causing feelings of depression or despondency
  • Depression causes the senior to limit activities…and so on

In celebration of COPD Awareness Month, Valley of the Sun’s Scottsdale home healthcare experts want to help COPD patients learn to breathe easier, lessoning symptoms of flare-ups and creating a new cycle of better health.

These two breathing techniques are especially helpful for those with COPD:

Breathing with Pursed Lips:

  1. Breathe in with the nose for a count of two.
  2. Blow out through puckered lips for a count of four, and repeat.

Breathing from the Abdomen:

  1. Relax in a seated or lying down position.
  2. Hold one hand over your chest, and the other over your stomach.
  3. Breathe in for a count of two, ensuring that your stomach expands more than your chest.
  4. Pressing gently on your stomach, breathe out slowly. Repeat.

For times when the senior overexerts himself and becomes short of breath, follow these steps:

  1. Discontinue the activity.
  2. Relax in a seated position and implement pursed-lip breathing.
  3. When feelings of breathlessness abate, resume the activity, continuing pursed-lip breathing.

The Scottsdale home healthcare team at Valley of the Sun Homecare can help those with COPD, and those who care for them, with a full range of professional in-home care services to make life safer and more comfortable. For example, we can:

  • Handle light housework, including dusting and vacuuming to keep air in the home clean
  • Plan and prepare healthy meals
  • Pick up prescriptions and run other errands
  • Provide medication reminders
  • Encourage participation in physician-approved exercise and activity programs
  • And more

Valley of the Sun’s Homecare staff can assist with just a little respite for family caregivers, or full-time, around-the-clock care – even live-in care if needed – customized for each individual. Contact us at 480-264-5252 to learn more about how our Scottsdale home healthcare services can enhance quality of life for your senior loved one with COPD.