COPD is bad enough on its own, but then you need to factor in anxiety, which is incredibly common for people with COPD. You and your senior might need to develop a plan for helping her to manage her anxiety.
Talk to Your Senior about Her Anxiety
It’s tough for your senior to talk about her anxiety and how it feels when she can’t breathe well. She might feel uncomfortable sharing how she’s feeling or she might not have the words to adequately share what she’s feeling. She might worry that sharing her anxious feelings makes her seem weaker, even after knowing that you’re not judging her. It can take her time to open up.
Get as Much Education about COPD as You Can
COPD is one of those chronic illnesses that you need to learn as much about as you can. The more that you and your senior know about this disease, the better you can use facts to deal with anxiety when it pops up. The COPD Foundation is a great source of information, as is your senior’s doctor. Use all the tools that you can gather to get as much information as possible.
Consider Joining a COPD Support Group
Something else that might help is a COPD support group. There are groups for caregivers and separate groups for people who have COPD, so your senior might be interested in attending meetings, too. This can help you both to learn even more about COPD from other people who deal with it every day. You can also learn a lot about how other people manage anxiety with their COPD.
Build up a List of What Works
At some point you and your senior should be able to put together a list of some of the tools that help her to manage her anxiety. Conservation of energy is a huge factor in helping her to manage how she’s feeling. For instance, hiring elder care providers can give your senior some breathing space when there are still chores that need to be done. Add other solutions as you find some that work.
As your senior feels as if she has better tools to manage her COPD, she may also find that her anxiety starts to slow down a little bit. She may not be able to get rid of her anxiety completely, but she can definitely learn how to keep it from taking over.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.