If your senior’s doctor recommended that she start exercising, then it’s time to get going. Exercise can’t undo the lung damage your senior already has but it can help her to strengthen her body and even her lungs.
Every person with COPD is dealing with a unique situation. Your family member may be at a stage in which it’s not as problematic for her to add daily exercise to her routine. If her COPD is more severe, or she’s spent a lot longer avoiding exercise, this may be a lot more complicated. Talk to your senior’s doctor about whether she should exercise and how to handle the situation in the best way possible.
Your elderly family member is going to benefit most from an actual plan. This gives her actual steps to follow and lets her know where she’s headed and what the overall purpose is. It’s important that she starts out slowly and that she gives herself time to acclimate to exercising at all before she starts trying to push herself. Having a plan gives your senior a chance to understand her progress and how it’s helping her.
Goals are an important part of every process for your senior. When she’s got reasonable goals, they help to move her toward her overall expected result. In the case of exercise and COPD, some of the goals she might have could include exercising for specific amounts of time or she might want to engage in a specific activity. Whatever the goals are, they need to be easy enough to reach that they’re not frustrating but challenging enough that your senior isn’t bored.
Conservation of energy is an incredibly important philosophy for your senior to learn about if she has COPD. Exercise is definitely crucial, but it’s balanced out by rest. Moving more is going to help strengthen your senior’s muscles and major organ systems, like her lungs and heart, but she doesn’t have to push herself to exercise and to do everything else. Having help from elderly care providers can ensure that she’s able to exercise and yet continue to eat well and know that her home is clean and safe.
Remember to keep the exercise simple for your elderly family member. This isn’t about doing anything complicated or wearing her out. It’s about helping her to feel and to be as healthy as possible.