COPD (short for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is the third leading cause of death in the United States.  This form of lung disease includes one or more health problems, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  Residents with the condition will suffer from shortness of breath, constant cough, sputum production, wheezing, and possibly feeling unable to breath.

According to the American Lung Association treatment of COPD includes:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Taking medications as prescribed, usually as an inhaler or nebulizer
  • Oxygen therapy, if severe
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • In rare cases, surgery

When caring for residents with COPD, other helpful day-to-day management tips include:

  • Avoid overly strenuous activity
  • Avoid large meals; they can make it more difficult to breath
  • Assist with oxygen administration, in accordance with state regulations
  • Make sure no one smokes around oxygen
  • Ensure oxygen tanks are properly secured, and avoid long tubing that can cause trips and falls
  • Keep the resident’s room cool and comfortable with a fan or air conditioner
  • Anxiety makes it more difficult to breath; avoid things that induce stress
  • Assist the resident with deep breathing exercises
  • Always clarify treatment plans with the resident’s physician

Check out our upcoming webinar on COPD to learn more.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment