If you have COPD, you are among 80 percent of adults age 65 and older who struggle with chronic conditions that negatively impact their ability to live independently, according to the National Council on Aging. In addition to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arterial diseases, heart failure, coronary heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease and diabetes are among the most common. Other chronic conditions include respiratory diseases such as emphysema and asthma, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease and arthritis.
Here are some tips to improve your quality of life:
- Arrange for assistance with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping and transportation to medical appointments. As your condition progresses, you also may want help with bathing, dressing and other personal tasks.
- Ask spouses and others often pitch in, or it may benefit you to rely on a trusted weekly housekeeper. Also, consider the benefits of a trained homecare provider. They know how to organize multiple prescriptions with a specific schedule, dietary requirements and activity requirements. Because managing a dosage routine can be complicated, ask for help if you need it.
- If you’re tech savvy, look into using automated dispensers or phone apps to provide timely reminders for medications. You can visit a Walgreens outlet near you and ask the pharmacist to assist you with downloading their phone app.
- Chronic conditions inhibit endurance and mobility, but it’s still important exercise—even if you must use a wheelchair or walker. This can help you maintain your ability levels and lift your spirits. Friends, homecare workers or companions can help you feel more confident if they’re nearby when you exercise at home, travel to medical appointments or run errands.
To secure the services of a home care provider, allow a week or two for clarifying care arrangements. Life Care at Home helps pinpoint the kinds of support needed whether for chronic conditions or recuperating from surgery or rehab.
Kathy Semrow R.N, director of Life Care at Home, a not-for-profit provider of private in-home personal care, shares her 42 years of nursing experience.