Living well with COPD

When you're short of breath, even simple tasks can be difficult to do.

Consider these tips to help you around the home.

12 quick tips for daily tasks

  1. Aerosol products may irritate your airways. Use scent-free, non-aerosol products instead.
  2. Whenever possible, to reduce pressure on your lungs and diaphragm, avoid bending over. Work from a sitting position as much as possible, such as when folding laundry or ironing.
  3. Reduce airborne dust particles by emptying your vacuum cleaner bag or carpet sweeper into a damp newspaper.
  4. Pack away dust-collecting clutter.
  5. Get rid of unnecessary furniture so that you can clean and dust without moving heavy objects.
  6. Wear a dust mask when dusting. Use a cream or paste wax for polishing furniture. Aerosol wax can irritate your lungs.
  7. Use paper towels instead of rags to eliminate extra laundry. Sponges are not a good alternative because they stay wet and attract mould and germs that can trigger COPD symptoms.
  8. Use breathing control when performing daily activities. Take a deep breath, then exhale as you reach and clean. Take frequent breaks to restore your energy and help prevent shortness of breath, dizziness, and sweating.
  9. As with other challenging tasks, break housekeeping up into smaller activities. Time your breathing with your movements. Exhale when lifting or exerting yourself. Take your time. Rushing yourself can cause shortness of breath.
  10. Create a menu of simple recipes requiring short preparation time and little effort. Your COPD support group may have healthy menu ideas.
  11. Shop online, order from catalogues, and shop by phone. All these purchases can be delivered right to your home.
  12. Shop in a well ventilated, enclosed shopping centre that offers valet parking. Avoid street-front stores and strip-malls. Walking in and out from one temperature to another (air-conditioned store to hot, humid parking lot or heated store to cold winter air) can trigger your COPD symptoms.