Surviving with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) means that you need to plan ahead to make your life more organized and easier to live. COPD is an umbrella term used to describe many progressive lung diseases like emphysema, asthma, bronchitis etc. under one broad term. This condition is generally characterized by breathlessness, chronic cough, wheezing and tightness in the chest. And these symptoms can make your autonomous movement incredibly hard. It would take a herculean effort to accomplish even the simplest of chores due to your constant breathlessness. That is why smart planning can allow you to take care of yourself and be more independent around the house, especially if you are living alone.
According to a study that was published in April, 2015 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, people with COPD who use oxygen at home are more at risk of having a burn injury.1 Elderly people
1. Opt For The First Floor
If you are moving to a new place or reconstructing your house, then opt to live on the first floor. Rehabilitation specialists recommend people with COPD to take stairs as and when they can. Taking the stairs is an excellent aerobic exercise that can strengthen you from inside. But you should also keep in mind that although it is a good exercise, it is not feasible for you to take stairs every now and
2. Buy Shoes That Provide Support And Balance
Rehabilitation specialists always emphasize on the importance of wearing the right shoes, whether you are relaxing at home, exercising or going out. People should think about getting lace up shoes that are comfortable as well as supportive as those will allow them to move more freely. Sandals, crocs and flip-flops are heavily discouraged. Elderly people often have problems with their gait and balance. Hence, supportive shoes can help them with that. So, opt for shoes that can provide you both support and balance.
3. Clear The Clutter
You need to keep your house movement friendly. Hence, for that you must get rid of the clutters
4. Hide All The Loose Wires
People are more likely to trip over a loose wire than anything else. So, you need to get rid of all the wires and cords that are lying around the house, especially on the floors to reduce potential health hazards. Get a professional to help you with your electrical connections if you can’t do it yourself. If you are using extension cords, then make sure to not let those wires lie around on the floor. Be mindful of all the gadgets and their wires that are likely to lie around the house like your laptop, phones, humidifiers etc. If you can tuck away all these wires, then you can greatly reduce your chances
5. Mind Your Oxygen Cord
Supplemental oxygen therapy is often recommended for people with COPD at home. And supplemental oxygen comes in two forms. It can be a portable cylinder that people can carry around and it can also be a concentrator. A concentrator is an electrical device that increases the concentration of oxygen by removing nitrogen from air.
If you are constantly using supplemental oxygen cylinders or concentrators, then you must pay attention to their cords. Some people like to put their portable oxygen concentrator in one room and then move it around the house with its cord all over the place. This is a potential tripping hazard that you can’t avoid for long. So, be careful with the cords of your concentrator and potable oxygen cynlinders.
6. Get Hand Rails Installed
If you have stairs in your house,
7. Carry Oxygen To The Bathroom
Fatigue can take over quickly, especially during a stressful bathing experience. A constant supply of oxygen can maintain a steady rate of energy in you. So, you can carry your oxygen to the bathroom as it can save you from feeling exhausted.
8. Make Some Changes To The Bathroom
Some people with COPD can feel suffocated in enclosed spaces like bathrooms. If you feel the same way, then you can keep your bathroom door ajar while taking bath. And you can also install an exhaust fan to maintain a steady circulation of fresh air in your bathroom.
9. Avoid Exposing Yourself To Open Flames
Oxygen is not flammable but it can aggravate a fire in a massive way as it aids in the process of combustion. So, avoid cooking on an open flame with your oxygen cylinder in the vicinity of your stove. You can rather cook using a microwave oven. But if you want to cook using a stove, then make sure to put your oxygen cylinder and concentrator away from the stove. Also, ensure a smoking-free environment in your house to avoid accidents.
10. Keep Your Oxygen Handy While Doing Your Chores
A lot of people take off their oxygen masks and nasal cannulas while doing household chores. But your body requires
These safety precautions will allow you to be more independent while ensuring your safety. So, make these changes today to experience a major difference in your life.
|↑1||Sharma, Gulshan, Ragai Meena, James S. Goodwin, Wei Zhang, Yong-Fang Kuo, and Alexander G. Duarte. “Burn injury associated with home oxygen use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” In Mayo Clinic Proceedings, vol. 90, no. 4, pp. 492-499. Elsevier, 2015.|
|↑2||Yentes, Jennifer M., Kendra K. Schmid, Daniel Blanke, Debra J. Romberger, Stephen I. Rennard, and Nicholas Stergiou. “Gait mechanics in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” Respiratory research 16, no. 1 (2015): 31.|