Yesterday’s Post stressed the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But what happens if you can’t afford Pulmonary Rehabilitation or a program isn’t available in your community?
If you don’t have a program in your area, there are many things you can do on your own. Your quality of life can be improved by stopping smoking, learning how to correctly use inhaled medicines, and exercising regularly. Below is a resource list of links to help you develop each component of your own rehabilitation plan. Talk with your health care provider, however, before starting an exercise program.
The focus throughout a pulmonary rehabilitation program is to provide information and strategies to help you control shortness of breath and allow you to be more active and independent.
Follow these links for information on each topic usually covered in a pulmonary rehabilitation program
- Freedom from Smoking
- How to begin to exercise safely
- Nutrition and lung disease
- Understanding chronic lung disease and how your lungs work
- Learning better breathing control using breathing exercises
- Prevention of infections
- Coping with stress
- Learning how to relax
- How to use inhalers, spacers and nebulizers
- Understanding lung medical tests
- How to manage your lung health at home
- Home oxygen
- Helpful coping skills to handle shortness of breath
There is still one other important facet to a pulmonary rehabilitation and it is a difficult one to implement on your own. People with COPD need the support, information and friendship that other people with COPD can provide. You can help yourself meet this need by looking into the support groups and message boards listed here.