With nearly 12 million Americans living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and another 12 million not yet diagnosed, chances are good that you may know someone living with COPD. With this growing number of Americans affected by the disease, the need for informed and capable caregivers is more critical than ever. As someone who may be the primary caregiver of a COPD sufferer, you may feel that you have been thrown into the caregiver role and you are unsure how to help.
COPD Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath, even when at rest
- Increasing Emergency Room visits or hospitalizations for complications
- Lung infections or respiratory failure
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Accelerated resting heart rate
- Weight loss
- Continuous oxygen or increased use of bronchodilators
- Fatigue, depression, anxiety, stress
- Wheezing and chest pain
- Choosing to focus on comfort rather than a cure
- Feeling the need to call your doctor’s office with questions about medications, symptoms
There is currently no cure for this chronic and progressive disease and symptoms will eventually worsen. Patients may develop pneumonia, lung cancer, or depression. They also face the stress of frequent hospitalizations. In fact, over half of the patients with COPD are readmitted to the hospital within 12 months. COPD can also put a strain on patients and their family caregivers—causing stress, frustration, and financial setbacks.
People with COPD frequently experience uncomfortable symptoms that are difficult to manage alone. Managing COPD can be a rollercoaster with episodes of very few symptoms or major exacerbations that are very scary. Patients can be stable for months and then unexpectedly worsen for days or even longer, it is highly unpredictable. With our team’s support, symptoms can become more manageable, stress can be reduced and patients coping with this disease can live happier and healthier lives.
Palladium Hospice and Palliative Care can greatly improve quality of life for patients with COPD. Our specialized teams of caregivers include registered nurses uniquely trained in the management of COPD. By providing medical and personal care to control symptoms and reduce anxiety, stress, and pain, we can improve quality of life for families living with COPD.
For more questions on the treatment and management of COPD, or if you or a loved one are suffering from this disease, call the supportive team at Palladium Hospice and Palliative Care at 888.502.4646.