Arbor Palliative Care Offers Advice For Individuals With Lung Diseases In Winter Weather
Posted: February 11, 2014
Winter continues to pummel Michigan with extreme temperatures and record-breaking levels of snow. While this weather may give reason to gripe, it poses an extra challenge for those living with respiratory ailments, such as congestive obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Arbor Hospice and Arbor Palliative Care recognize these challenges and makes several suggestions to patients and caregivers.
- Minimize the cold as much as possible by avoiding the outdoors. When you go outside, remember to dress accordingly. Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf or mask. Individuals with COPD are more susceptible to complications such as pneumonia.
- Preparation is important. Before temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall, make sure you are prepared. Buy extra groceries so you will not have to brave the elements. Get a flu shot to prevent unnecessarily illness.
- Avoid smoke exposure. Cigarette smoke, in of itself is an irritant to individuals with lung diseases. When paired with cold air, COPD symptoms are much more common. Similar to cigarette smoke, smoke and particles from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can irritate airways. Try using an energy-efficient electric heater to stay warm.
- Make sure furnace filters are clean so the air in your home is not hurting your breathing. It is also a good idea to have your furnace and ductwork cleaned to eliminate dust and remove airborne contaminants.
- Make sure your doors, windows and fireplace are properly sealed to eliminate drafts.
- Maintain a normal humidity level inside your home. The air humidity should ideally be at 40 percent and can be maintained with a humidifier.
- If you go outside, place oxygen tubing (if you use it) inside your clothing to keep the air as warm as possible.
- The Arbor Hospice Foundation, which provides financial and philanthropic support to advance the mission of Arbor Hospice. Founded in 2002, the Arbor Hospice Foundation funds pediatric hospice care, grief support services, uncompensated care and complementary therapies, including music, massage and pet therapy. To make a tax-deductible contribution or for more information visit https://www.arborhospice.org/foundation-donation/donate-today or call (734) 794-5338.
- Arbor Palliative Care, a consultative service of Arbor Hospice founded in 2012. Arbor Palliative Care provides comfort care to people who are not hospice eligible or who choose not to enroll in hospice. Physicians and nurse practitioners, who specialize in pain and symptom management, work with patients’ physicians to assess and address symptoms associated with advanced illness. For more information, call (734) 794-5678 or toll free (855) 249-5678.