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Caring for patients with respiratory diseases

There are between 1 to 2 million Americans who suffer from respiratory disease. Living with respiratory disease can create many obstacles in a patient’s life, 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. However, with caregiving agencies catering to all types of disease-specific needs and with technology, an older patient can have peace of mind by hiring a caregiver.

Understanding Respiratory Diseases

To provide better care for a senior patient with respiratory disease, caregivers must understand their needs. They must understand how exactly their disease impacts their overall functionality. A patient with pleural mesothelioma cancer will be cared for differently than a patient who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The prognosis of someone diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, is on average, 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 depending on how advance the disease is, some patients may choose to not 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 their everyday lifestyle stresses.

Coordinating Treatment

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, it is managed differently which 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, allowing them to do more activities and worry less despite their illness.

Simplifying the Duties of a Caregiver

Caregiving is no simple task. However, through utilizing tools such as CareCommunity, the ability to better understand patient data is now easier than ever before. Integrating CareCommunity into your caregiving agency will allow patient transparency to be visible, 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.

Learn more about CareCommunity.


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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