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Living with COPD During the Pandemic

Senior inhalation therapy in progres.

Seniors living with COPD during the pandemic must take extra precautions.

Seniors living with COPD have needed to stay especially watchful since the COVID-19 pandemic began. They are not only more likely at greater risk for contracting the virus, but also at higher risk for developing more serious complications because of COPD. A recently available research study published by the European Respiratory Journal reported that COPD patients were more prone to be admitted to the ICU, require ventilator care, and succumb to the virus than those without the disease.

And while the CDC gives recommendations for all of us in order to reduce the possibility of contracting the virus, such as frequent handwashing, social distancing, and staying home whenever possible, one recommendation is especially a challenge for someone with breathing difficulties: wearing a face covering. The American Lung Association suggests that those with COPD try a number of different kinds of coverings to find one that’s most comfortable, and wear the mask around the house for short amounts of time in order to become more used to the feeling.

Further suggestions include:

  • Continue to control your COPD according to the doctor’s prescribed plan, with adjustments to limit your exposure to others, such as telehealth appointments and mail-order prescriptions.
  • Improve your immune system with a healthy and balanced diet and a lot of rest, and make certain to follow the physician’s recommended plan for treatment.
  • Take good care of your emotional health to minimize anxiety and stress. Switch off the news and social media and engage in soothing and enjoyable activities instead. And be sure to check with a mental health professional as needed for help with managing stress and preventing depression.

Of particular importance for anyone with COPD is the need for regular exercise. According to David Au, MD, professor at the University of Washington Medical School’s division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, due to the fact that COPD causes shortness of breath, physical exercise is particularly challenging. He, and the Respiratory Health Association, suggest (with doctor’s approval):

  • Aim for no less than 30 minutes of exercise every day, at least 3x each week.
  • Try leg lifts, marching in position, and arm circles, using canned goods or small weights.
  • Go up and down stairs.
  • Incorporate deep breathing exercises.

These resources offer additional useful information specific to COPD considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic:

For reliable in-home care for those diagnosed with COPD as well as other chronic conditions, turn to the caregivers Salem, Oregon (and surrounding area) families trust at New Horizons In-Home Care. Our staff are professionally trained and knowledgeable in providing customized care in order to make life safer and much more enjoyable. Reach out to us any time at a location nearest you: Salem: 503-400-3000, Eugene: 541-687-8851, Corvallis: 541-752-9059, or Florence: 541-997-8115.

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Customer Testimonials

J. M. May 4, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
The people I've worked with have been so straightforward and honest. They really care about how it's going. The caregiver is very understanding, knowledgeable. He can see ahead and makes some suggestions. I can leave if I need without the least bit of worry. He is really proactive, I know he cares and trust him impeccably.

Pamela V. April 9, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
I like how nice the caregivers are. The office staff is prompt on getting somebody out here when it is needed and the caregivers make me feel better than what I am. They are willing to do anything I ask of them.

Barbara W. February 2, 2020

Corvallis, Or Client
We are happy to have them because they do well. They come when they are supposed to and do what they are supposed to. They do things that we didn't know we needed. They assess the situation well and plan for the right care. They are very dependable and thorough and are very friendly and helpful. We're very satisfied.

Candice S. April 1, 2020

Salem, Or Client
They are very helpful and on time with things. They do what they say they are going to do. They will talk to me and help me when needed. I don't have to wait forever to pick up my calls and they are quick to get back to me. It has been positive.

Sharon R. April 01, 2020

Salem, Or Client
The caregivers will do anything that we ask of them. They have been very convenient. and are able to be here and do things for us that we cannot do.

O.H. February 14, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
The caregiver they sent me is awesome. People in the office staff are friendly and they know what they are talking about. The case manager, is a wonderful person and she knows her job. If I need something, all I have to do is call them.

Mary B. April 01, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
It has taken a great load off of our shoulders, especially mine. It has helped my health as well and gives my husband some social time. They are really good at scheduling around our schedule and are matched very well to his needs. We always recommend them to others who need care.

Denise B. March 02, 2020

Salem, Or Client
My caregiver is wonderful. I wish I could have more time. They do so much for me that I can't do for myself. They spend a few minutes to talk with me and be social. They are very open, caring, patient, outgoing, understanding, and kind people. If I need help with anything they will always help me. They are so helpful. I don't know what I'd do without their services.

Gail P. February 13, 2020

Florence Or,
The office staff found the right person for us. They check in regularly. What we need is someone who could do the cleaning and we have that. I like the fact that they have provided the kind of assistance that we needed. The caregiver we have is excellent.

Barbara N. February 12, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
They are courteous, respectful, and serve good food, and do everything we ask. They did all of their duties and everything was done in a timely manner. They were very helpful.
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