If your senior has COPD, she may still want to try to exercise. Exercise can help to strengthen her lungs as well as the other systems in her body. Because of her COPD, she’ll want to do the right types of exercise and avoid overdoing it.
Does Your Senior Feel up for Exercising?
For some people with COPD, exercising is much more difficult than they expect it to be, even when they start out slowly and carefully. Talk to your elderly family member about how she feels about the idea of exercising and what she wants to gain from exercise. If she doesn’t feel as if it’s something she can do, she may be right, even if that’s a topic you revisit some other time.
Talk to Her Doctor Before Starting Any Exercise Plan
Most of the time you’ll have a conversation about exercise with your senior because her doctor has already brought it up. But if this is a new idea for your senior, make sure to talk with her doctor first. Even people with severe COPD can benefit from exercise if it’s the right amount and type of exercise. Your senior’s doctor can help her to determine what the best course of action is for her.
She’ll Need a Plan
Any good exercise routine starts with a plan. Your elderly family member might want to consider starting out with pulmonary rehabilitation. This is a combination of physical therapy and other treatments and educational components that helps her to get the most out of the exercise. As your senior’s body and her lungs become a little bit stronger, she may find that exercise helps her to have more energy and stamina than she did before.
Conservation of Energy Is Still a Big Deal
Even with improved energy levels, your senior still needs to be careful about how she expends her energy. People with COPD can experience exacerbations at any time and having the strength to deal with those can mean watching what she does at other times when she’s feeling stronger. Working with elderly care providers to have help around the house may be what she needs to hang onto the energy she does have.
There’s a lot to consider if your senior is planning to become more physically active, even with something as serious as COPD affecting her health. Work with her medical team to make sure that she’s as safe as possible while she exercises.
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