It’s a common misunderstanding that exercise is too difficult for someone with COPD, but that’s not necessarily the case. Exercise can be very helpful for someone with COPD under certain circumstances. There may be times when your senior shouldn’t exercise.
Her Doctor Gave Her a List
One of the best things to do first is to talk to your senior’s doctor about warning signs. Her doctor may want your senior to check specific things, like what her pulse oximeter reading is, before exercising. There may be other factors that affect whether her doctor wants her to be exercising right then or not. Pay close attention to that list so that you can help your senior to make the right decisions about exercising.
Your Senior’s Got a Lot of Fluid in Her Lungs
When your elderly family member can feel fluid in her lungs, that might be a sign that she needs to hold off on too much physical activity. Increased mucus and other fluids in her lungs can be a sign of a flare, but it can also be an initial sign of a lung infection or of an allergic reaction. What’s really important is how your senior is feeling and whether the color of the mucus indicates that she might need to see her doctor. Yellow or green mucus can indicate that your senior is dealing with an infection.
Your Senior Is Feeling Dizzy or Otherwise Wobbly
If your elderly family member is feeling wobbly or dizzy, that’s not a good time for her to be exercising. She may have lower oxygen levels than she should or she may be experiencing other issues. Regardless, pushing herself when she’s already not stable on her feet is a possible recipe for disaster. If the dizziness or lightheadedness goes away later, that might mean she can go ahead and exercise, but definitely exercise caution.
She Knows She’s Experiencing a Flare
Flares with COPD are another word for exacerbations. Both are a situation in which her normal COPD symptoms worsen and she experiences more difficulty breathing than she normally experiences. Flares can happen periodically for seemingly no reason, but they can also occur as a harbinger for more serious concerns, like an impending illness. Exercising during a flare causes your aging adult’s body to work harder than it should just to bring in oxygen.
Exercise can be a wonderful way for a senior with COPD to stay as healthy as possible, as long as she is doing so safely. When it’s tougher for her to be active, it can help for your senior to have help from elderly care providers. They can take over tasks that require more energy than your senior might have in that moment.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Loudoun, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 782-3655.