During the week of March 8–14, Lake Regional Health System’s Cardiopulmonary Rehab department joins health care organizations nationwide in observing National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week. Initiated by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, the recognition aims to educate communities about the role of pulmonary rehabilitation in enhancing the quality of life of individuals with chronic lung disease.
This year’s theme, “A Breath Away From Better Health,” honors individuals who struggle to overcome shortness of breath and the pulmonary professionals who work every day towards a path for better health.
Most pulmonary rehab patients suffer from chronic lung conditions such as COPD, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. Life-enhancing pulmonary rehabilitation programs not only help patients overcome breathing challenges and gain renewed strength.
“Aside from better breathing, pulmonary rehab can reduce respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue,” said Jody Corpe, Lake Regional Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation manager. “It can also improve muscle strength, endurance and the ability to perform tasks that once seemed daunting.”
Pulmonary rehab also plays a positive role in a patient’s emotional wellness. Having the support of understanding clinical staff and the camaraderie of fellow patients can reduce the anxiety and depression that sometimes accompanies chronic illness.
To celebrate Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, Lake Regional’s Cardiopulmonary Rehab staff and patients will enjoy a number of activities designed to infuse a dose of fun into their pulmonary rehabilitation routine. The fun includes a theme for each day of the week that includes wearing whimsical attire and door prize drawings for exercise visits.
“We love celebrating our patients’ hard work and accomplishments,” Corpe said. “Camaraderie plays a vital role in rehabilitation, providing the support and encouragement patients need to become physically and mentally strong so they can maximize their quality of life.”
Taken together, the knowledge, strength and emotional support gained in pulmonary rehabilitation, allows patients coping with chronic lung disease to better manage daily activities and enjoy a renewed quality of life.
Pulmonary Rehab at Lake Regional
Lake Regional offers Phase II Pulmonary Rehab, an individualized exercise program for patients who have lung disease. Exercise sessions are 60 minutes to 90 minutes, two or three days a week depending on the clinic location. Clinic staff monitors each patient’s blood pressure, oxygen, weight and heart function during each session.
A referral from a primary care physician or pulmonologist is required to begin pulmonary rehabilitation. Each patient works with a team of professionals, including registered nurses, a registered dietitian and an exercise physiologist, and every month, the referring physician reviews the patient’s individualized plan. Weekly pulmonary education classes focus on breathing techniques, energy conservation, medications and oxygen use.
Lake Regional also offers support groups for people coping with lung disease. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group is held at 12 p.m. the second Monday of each month and Better Breathers support group meets the third Wednesday of each month at 12 p.m. Both groups meet in the Cardiac Rehab conference room on the second floor of Lake Regional Hospital.
Learn more about Lake Regional pulmonology services and support groups.