This Wednesday (21st November) marks World COPD day which aims to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and help people get the support they need.
Jean and Tommy Turnbull, both aged 82, from Carlisle have found a new lease of life after completing a Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme to help with managing their COPD. The course is available across the county to help those with COPD; a lung condition that causes breathing difficulties.
Jean and Tommy said: “We attended together after being referred by our practice nurse. It was marvellous; we couldn’t fault them at all. Whoever chose them for their jobs made the perfect choice. We had a great time and good banter with everyone who attended, including the volunteers. It was a relaxed and lovely atmosphere.
“Prior to attending the group we didn’t do much exercise and since joining the group we now do so much more. We now have a treadmill, exercise bike and some weights and we try to keep to practicing twice a week and monitor our progress in a dairy.
“We would recommend this group to anyone, even if you are on your own. Everyone is so welcoming.”
Lori Prescott, community COPD team lead, said: “Jean and Tommy’s competitive natures and brilliant attitude allowed Tommy to walk for twice as long by the end of the course and Jean to feel generally a lot easier in movement in normal activities. We have had other similar patients join forces with family member’s e.g. brother and sister, father and son with the same illness, who have successfully completed the programme. Timing or rehab can be arranged to accommodate those who would like to exercise with others.”
Following attending the programme, Tommy’s walking continues to improve and Jean is concentrating on weights.
Those who suffer from COPD can be more susceptible to the effects of cold weather, finding themselves short of breath and coughing more than usual.
Top tips that can help those with COPD include:
- Make sure you have enough prescription medication if your symptoms get worse and have this close by at all times.
- Keep the main rooms at 21°C and bedrooms at 18°C. Cold rooms can make breathing more difficult.
- Those with COPD qualify for a free flu jab, ask your GP.
- Stop smoking – for people with COPD this is the most important thing they can do to help their breathing.
- A healthy diet helps improve the immune system so it can fight infection.
- Exercise improves the function of the heart and lungs. Pulmonary rehabilitation classes can help people with COPD learn simple exercises to improve their breathing.
Individuals who think the Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme may be beneficial to them should discuss with their GP. Further advice is available on the British Lung Foundation website at: www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/copd
A new Facebook page has also been developed by the CPFT Respiratory Team where lots of information and advice is available. Visit: www.facebook.com/NorthCumbriaRespiratory