Life doesn’t stop when you’re diagnosed with a disease that affects your lungs or ability to breathe normally, but these chronic conditions can make it feel impossible to live a normal life. Fortunately, pulmonary rehabilitation programs across the country are helping people overcome these hurdles to reach a better quality of life. And in honor of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week (which takes place every March), we’re highlighting some key facts about this important line of rehabilitative care.
Read on to learn more about who pulmonary rehabilitation helps, how it can improve someone’s life, and where you can find pulmonary rehab services in Southern Maryland.
Who is Pulmonary Rehabilitation for?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is most commonly recommended for people with the following conditions:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Persistent asthma
- Cystic fibrosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Lung cancer
Additionally, pulmonary rehabilitation may be recommended for people who are planning to undergo or have already received a lung transplant, thoracic surgery, abdominal surgery, or lung volume reduction surgery.
How Does Pulmonary Rehabilitation Help?
Because pulmonary rehabilitation is often meant for people with chronic, lifelong conditions, the primary purpose of such programs is to improve quality of life — helping to make life more fulfilling and enjoyable regardless of a person’s condition.
Here are just a few of the areas these programs focus on:
- Improving functional abilities
- Reducing lifestyle-related risks
- Increasing knowledge of the disease process and prevention strategies
- Increasing the ability to perform daily tasks
- Improving self-esteem and confidence
To accomplish this, pulmonary rehabilitation teams generally consist of board-certified pulmonologists, registered nurses with advanced cardiac life support certifications, and exercise physiologists who guide participants through exercises as well as educational and empowerment sessions.
In addition to the dedicated medical staff, the best pulmonary rehabilitation programs often include dietitians, physical therapists, and even diabetes education specialists to provide additional advice and support for overall health and wellness.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Charles County
You don’t have to look far to find a top-rated pulmonary rehabilitation program if you live in Southern Maryland. University of Maryland (UM) Charles Regional Medical Center’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program employs a three-phase approach that’s designed to help participants improve their quality of life through exercise and education.
UM Charles Regional Medical Center also hosts the Better Breathers Club, a free support group meant for people with chronic lung disease and their loved ones. With its regular meetings, the Better Breathers Club is facilitated by a certified exercise physiologist and focuses on providing patient-focused, community-based education and support.
Want more information about our Pulmonary Rehabilitation program or the Better Breathers Club? You can contact the program coordinator by calling (301) 609-4391. And if you’re ready to make an appointment, please call (301) 609-4413.