What You Should Know About Respiratory Rehabilitation For Your Elderly Loved One

If you have an elderly loved one that has recently suffered from a severe respiratory infection, like pneumonia, or has other chronic breathing issues that have flared up, you may hear the doctors mention that they want your loved one to go to respiratory rehabilitation. If you have never heard of respiratory or pulmonary rehabilitation before, you may feel confused and concerned about what this type of short term rehabilitation treatment entails and how it will affect and benefit your loved one. Get to know some of the important facts about respiratory rehabilitation. This will help you to better support and assist your loved one in their continued recovery. 

Respiratory Rehabilitation Allows Your Loved One to Continue Medical Care

One of the many benefits of respiratory rehabilitation is that it allows your loved one to continue with their medical treatment. While your loved one may be well enough to leave the hospital, they may need continued nebulizer treatments, antibiotics, and other medical interventions that could be difficult to keep up with at home. 

In a short-term rehabilitation treatment center that offers respiratory rehabilitation, this treatment can continue under the supervision of doctors and nurses. This step will help to ensure that your loved one's condition continues to improve and that, if they are not on the correct combination of medications and treatments, that the issue is resolved as soon as possible. 

Respiratory Rehabilitation Helps Your Loved One Increase Their Physical Activity

A primary goal of respiratory rehabilitation is to increase your loved one's ability to engage in more physical activity before they head back home. After a pulmonary incident, whether it is a case of pneumonia, or a worsening of a chronic condition like COPD, a person's lung capacity is limited, often quite a bit. 

Exercises in respiratory rehabilitation often start out small with sitting up in bed, moving to a chair, going on short walks, and the like. Then, your loved one will work up to longer and/or brisker walks and other exercises that will help with the tasks of daily living. 

Getting your loved one back to being able to function on a daily basis safely on their own is the primary goal of these exercises. 

Respiratory Rehabilitation Also Involves Education

Recovering from a major respiratory illness (or managing a chronic one) is not the easiest thing in the world. Your loved one may have permanently reduced lung capacity and may have to adjust to these changes in their lifestyle. They also may need to continue breathing treatments and monitoring at home. 

The education side of respiratory rehabilitation addresses these issues. Doctors and nurses will work with your loved one to teach them how to cope with their diminished lung capacity and help them to develop coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with their new pulmonary reality. They will also coach your loved one on how to use a nebulizer on their own or other breathing assistance devices like oxygen tanks and the like. That way, your loved one is fully equipped to re-acclimate to their life at home. 

Knowing these facts about respiratory rehabilitation, you can better support your loved one as they go through the process and get the help they need to make a safe return to their regular life.