Your senior might think that exercising with COPD is a ridiculous idea. After all, if breathing is difficult for her, she might not feel uncomfortable pushing herself. But exercise could be helpful for her as long as her doctor agrees. Make sure to talk to your elderly family member’s doctor before starting any type of new exercise program.
Consider Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Pulmonary rehab is physical therapy for people who have lung problems. Therapists train your senior in exercises, both physical and breathing, that can help her to improve her ability to exercise and to strengthen her lungs. These exercises can serve your elderly family member very well as she advances through the stages of COPD and can help her to keep moving.
Try out Interval Training
One type of exercise your senior might benefit from could include interval training. This is a type of exercise that mixes high and low-intensity exercises. High intensity doesn’t have to mean that your senior is pushing herself, it really just means doing more intense exercise for a few seconds. That greater intensity only needs to be a little bit faster or more difficult than the lower intensity exercise. Pulmonary rehab can show your senior how to do this effectively.
Pay Attention to Medications
Taking her medications properly is going to be your senior’s best bet for ensuring that she’s getting what she needs from them. When she’s able to breathe better, exercise is going to be just a little bit easier for your senior. Talk to her doctor right away if her medications don’t seem to be working well for her, even when she’s at rest.
Conserve Energy in Other Ways
Managing COPD, especially in the later stages of the condition, means conserving as much energy as possible. Your senior is already spending a great deal of energy just on basic daily activities. Adding in exercise means that she’s getting energy benefits, but she also has to put energy forth. If she’s still fighting to keep up with other things, like household tasks, she may feel exhausted. Help from senior care providers can allow her to save energy and not sacrifice comfort, hygiene, and safety.
Your senior’s doctor is the best source to talk to about helping her to exercise. Her individual situation may have some additional considerations. Movement, in general, is a good thing for her to be doing, but she needs to do so as safely as possible.