COPD: Lots of people who have COPD worry that exercising will cause their lungs more trauma or that they will become too weak to do anything.
The reality is that exercise can help to preserve the lung function that your senior does still have, which is an important part of helping her to continue to do all that she can to battle COPD.
Talk to Her Doctor before She Starts Exercising
Exercise can be tremendously beneficial for people with COPD, but your senior still needs to clear it with her doctor first. Her doctor can help her to map out a plan that is safe for her and that doesn’t cause her bigger problems. Starting out slowly and gradually working up to the right amount and type of exercise is crucial for people with COPD.
Work with a Physical Therapist
A physical therapist could be an excellent solution for your senior as she starts to exercise. Physical therapy helps to guide your senior in gradually building up her strength and can help her to ensure that she’s doing the right movement for her and that she’s doing those movements properly. Physical therapy can also help with mobility issues that she may be experiencing, which can make exercise more difficult.
Consider Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Another idea is to start going to pulmonary rehabilitation. This is a specific type of exercise program just for people with lung issues. Your senior learns what exercise is best for her and she starts a program of exercise with therapists who are uniquely qualified to assist with exercise for people with lung issues. The things that your elderly family member learns in pulmonary rehab can serve her well throughout the rest of her life.
COPD: Deep Breathing Exercises Can Help
Just one of the skills your senior can learn in pulmonary rehab is deep breathing exercises. These are exercises that help to strengthen your elderly family member’s lungs and enable her to breathe better with COPD. This can help both while she’s exercising and while she’s at rest. Your senior’s doctor may have some recommendations for specific breathing exercises that she should try.
To make sure that your elderly family member is as safe as possible, it can be a good idea to make sure that she has elder care providers with her as she exercises. If she no longer drives, elder care providers can also make sure that she gets to appointments when she needs to.