Stages of COPD

Morning Glory Home Care provides home health services in Belleville, IL and the surrounding communities that seniors and their families have come to trust, especially when it comes to dealing with the complexities and challenges associated with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). With more than 11 million people in the U.S. alone currently diagnosed with COPD, we at Morning Glory Home Care are familiar with the complexities and challenges associated with the airflow restrictions – and as a result, the lifestyle restrictions – that seniors with the disease face each day. It’s important for us as caregivers, and for family members who are also providing care, to understand what to expect in each stage of this progressive disease, and how to help those with COPD effectively manage their condition and live life to their fullest potential.

In order to provide the top notch home health services in Belleville, IL and nearby areas, our home care experts have broken down the four stages of COPD below for your information, along with the recommendations from the Lung Institute on steps you should take to ensure your senior loved one remains as healthy as possible.

Stage 1: Mild COPD

During this stage, it may not even be evident that there’s a problem other than experiencing some coughing and phlegm, and slight breathing limitations when performing daily activities. Even though the symptoms may seem minor, it’s important for the senior to see the physician as soon as possible, so that if a COPD diagnosis is confirmed, a treatment plan can be put into place. The doctor may prescribe medications as well as lifestyle changes – particularly quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising. Alternative treatment options, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and cellular therapy may also be tried.

Stage 2: Moderate COPD

With moderate COPD, coughing and phlegm are increased, while airflow becomes more constricted. Lung capacity at this stage has decreased to between 50 and 79%, and physical activity leaves the person feeling out of breath. Medications will likely need to be adjusted in this stage, and pulmonary rehabilitation may also be recommended by the doctor, helping the senior maximize breathing functionality.

Stage 3: Severe COPD

By the time a senior reaches the severe stage of COPD, symptoms will have escalated and significant impairment of lung function is experienced. Fatigue and breathlessness increase, making it difficult for the person to remain active, and frequent medical appointments may be needed. Additional pulmonary testing will help the physician track the progression of the disease and to add in additional treatments to improve quality of life, such as oxygen, inhalers, and bronchodilators.

Stage 4: End-Stage COPD

In the end stage of COPD, lung function has decreased to 30% or less, and oxygen therapy will be required. Simple activities of daily living become difficult or impossible to complete without exhaustion and breathlessness. The doctor will want to keep a close eye on the senior during this stage, modifying the treatment plan to help the senior maintain the highest possible quality of life. Activities such as tai chi or yoga may be recommended to help the senior stay active while remaining comfortable.

One of the best ways to help seniors with COPD, and the families who care for them, is by letting a professional home care agency, such as Morning Glory Home Care, provide provide the professional in-home care loved ones need. Our home care team is highly skilled and experienced in assisting those with COPD by:

  • Planning and preparing healthy meals according to any dietary restrictions
  • Providing safe, accompanied transportation to medical appointments and procedures
  • Helping seniors engage in physician-approved exercise plans
  • Maintaining a clean home environment
  • Providing friendly, caring companionship
  • And so much more

Contact us any time at 618-667-8400 to learn more about our home health services in Belleville, IL and the surrounding areas.