Having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can be a debilitating disease that affects a person’s life style and activities of daily living. This lesson will help educate the newly diagnosed patient incorporate low impact exercises and activities into their daily life; these activities will lead to increased tolerance and decreased exacerbation episodes that lead to long term positive outcomes.
These exercises and activities will help slow down the disease process as well as help the patient breathes easier. Stretches help warm up the muscles for pending activity in addition to helping with flexibility and range of motion. Patient has received an exercise-stretching band to use daily, and given a list of four different stretching exercises. The healthcare professional will give the patient instructions for the four stretching exercises as well as pictures depicting someone doing them. The patient is advised to perform these specific exercises twice a day; once in the morning and once in the evening. This process will take 15 minutes to demonstrate the four different exercises, and then the healthcare professional will have the patient do a return demonstration to show they fully understand how to perform them. As time goes by, more exercises will be added using the same process, and the patient will be evaluated by the healthcare professional. The patient will build endurance as well and will be encouraged to keep a diary as they incorporate new exercises to the daily regimen.
Nutrition has a direct impact on a person’s immune system and general health, making it more important for the COPD patient to adhere to a low sodium diet. One of the keys to maintaining adherence to any diet is how easy it is to prepare the meal, and healthy handy snacks. Small meals are important because after eating a large meal the stomach is too full and can put pressure on the diaphragm making breathing more difficult and increasing the odds for an exacerbation episode. The healthcare professional will ask the patient what their favorite foods are and their favorite meals, and then they can examine ways to transform them into a healthier, low salt version. This educational process will require a computer, the Internet, paper, and a printer. Together the healthcare professional and the patient will peruse the Internet for low salt, low fat versions of favorite meals for the patient to prepare for a week. The healthcare professional can evaluate the patient’s progress by asking them to write down what they ate for two of their daily meals for a week. The amount of time allotted for this process is about an hour, and it also helps build a trusting relationship between the healthcare professional and the patient.
A combination of patient education, self -management and smoking cessation can yield successful results when combined with regular check ups by the healthcare professional.
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