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Caring for patients with respiratory diseases

According to the American Thoracic Society, at any given time, there are between 1 to 2 million Americans who suffer from a rare respiratory disease. Living with a rare respiratory disease can create many obstacles in a patient’s life, most often affecting their day to day routine. This proves to be even more difficult for senior patients who are diagnosed at a later stage of life. Not only does the disease have the ability to progress into a more problematic stage, but factor in the potential of limited mobility through aging, respiratory diseases can indeed hinder the quality of life for a senior patient. However, with caregiving agencies catering to all types of disease-specific needs and with technology such as CareCommunity, an older patient can have peace of mind by hiring a caregiver to aid them with their daily tasks.

Understanding Respiratory Diseases

To better provide care for a senior patient with a respiratory disease, caregivers must understand the needs of the patient and how exactly their disease impacts their overall functionality. How a patient with pleural mesothelioma cancer will be cared for is going to be much different than that of a patient who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The prognosis of someone diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, on average, is 12 months after receiving treatment. Mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer most commonly diagnosed amongst the senior demographic. Due to the limited treatment options available and how far along the disease has developed, some patients may opt not to pursue treatment, which will leave them seeking palliative care. Palliative care is a form of care that focuses on the overall comfort of the patient. This type of care takes shape in many ways from simple tasks like meal preparation and grocery shopping to taking them to doctor visits and even staying by their side while they rest. The caregiver in this situation is going to be more focused on forming a bond with their patient and relieving them of the everyday lifestyle stresses.

[bctt tweet=”According to the American Thoracic Society, at any given time, there are between 1 to 2 million Americans who suffer from a rare respiratory disease.” username=”MatrixCare”]

For a patient with COPD, their care regimen may be a bit more extensive as far as treatment goes, because unlike mesothelioma, COPD has a variety of treatment options. While COPD is an incurable disease, how it is managed may vary, with some that may require assistance. COPD is an umbrella term that encapsulates more common diseases we may know, such as emphysema and bronchitis. This could mean that a patient suffers from an increased build-up of mucus within their lungs or that their airways are beginning to deteriorate, leading to breathing complications. Whatever the case may be, caregiving staff are going to need to understand the patient’s health records and be able to coordinate their treatments. Whether it be monitoring the usage of a bronchodilator, or administering oxygen therapy, the treatments in which a COPD patient may pursue may require a skilled nurse to tend to their needs. Through a combination of medication management, health monitoring, and palliative care, a senior patient with COPD is going to have a more streamlined lifestyle, providing them more time to do other activities and worry less about their illness.

Simplifying the Duties of a Caregiver

Caregiving is no simple task, and when caring for a patient with a respiratory condition, the involvement of a caregiver may be a full-time duty. However, through utilizing tools such as CareCommunity, the ability to better understand patient data is now easier than ever. Integrating CareCommunity into your caregiving agency will allow patient transparency to be more transparent than ever, for all parties involved. Through analyzing HIPAA-compliant health records and being able to monitor a patient’s latest vitals and upcoming appointments, CareCommunity creates a knowledge hub for each patient. Check out our blog post on why your agency should be excited by our latest unique product offering.

Amy Ostrem
Amy Ostrem

Amy Ostrem, VP Skilled Nursing Solution Strategy, has been working with our products and service teams for more than 2 decades. She originally was a client before joining the company as a Client Education Consultant and has served in various departments and roles through her tenure. In her current role, she divides her time between client communications, client service teams, sales enablement, and product development teams. Ostrem oversees the Product Strategy, Value Proposition, Commercialization, Product Managers, and Business Analysts. She participates in industry events, client engagement sessions, focus groups, our annual Directions event, and presents regularly at provider advisory boards. Ostrem holds a bachelors degree from Concordia College in Healthcare Financial Management.

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