Many of us don’t give a second thought to the 25,000 breaths we take each day, unless we’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from some form of lung disease. As the third largest cause of death in the U.S., lung disease encompasses all disorders affecting the lungs: COPD, asthma, pneumonia, TB, and lung cancer, just to name a few of the more common ones. Anyone with lung disease can benefit from these tips for conserving energy, allowing for easier breathing:
Around the House
Store items, including clothing, between waist and shoulder level to minimize reaching and bending.
Sit on a shower stool when showering and use a hand-held shower nozzle.
If the bedroom is upstairs, consider moving it downstairs or plan the day so as to avoid returning upstairs until bedtime.
Avoid clothing that is tight in the chest or abdomen that could restrict breathing, such as belts, bras and girdles.
Heavy clothing, such as coats and sweaters, can be exhausting, as these items require extra energy to wear.
Sit down to dress and undress and employ the use of aids such as long handled shoehorns and reachers if needed.
Consider getting help from an in-home care company to arrange a caregiver that can provide assistance with grocery shopping, or use an online grocery ordering service.
Obtain a handicapped parking sticker for closer parking to the entrance of the store.
Request that perishables be bagged together so they can easily be put away when returning home, leaving other items to be put away when feeling less tired.
Again, enlist the help of an in-home caregiver for meal preparation and cleanup.
Look for ways to cut steps out of your preparation, such as using clean dishes directly from the dishwasher to set the table and storing clean pots and pans on the stove rather than the cupboards.
Eat several small meals during the day, rather than three large ones. A full stomach presses against the diaphragm, preventing the lungs from filling completely. Additionally, digesting a large meal pulls blood and oxygen to the stomach and away from the lungs.
It may seem counter-intuitive to say that exercise can help a person with little energy, but exercising tones the muscles to make them work more efficiently. This also counteracts the loss of muscle mass and strength due to inadequate oxygen.
Work with a physician to develop an individualized exercise program.
Agencies such as AAging Better In-Home Care can provide trained caregivers to assist those with lung disease when they are no longer able to keep up with the activities of daily living. Home care agencies assist with light housekeeping, meal preparation and clean-up, personal care services, medication reminders, and so much more. Contact us any time at 208.777.0308 to learn more or to schedule a free in-home assessment. Let us know how we can help you or your loved one.