Pulmonary Rehabilitation is strongly recommended for most people with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Pulmonary rehabilitation teaches people with COPD how to breathe easier and live better with COPD. Rehab programs teach you breathing techniques that help you get the most out of each breath. They also teach you how to exercise, and give you a chance to practice with the group of people who also have COPD (Ontario Lung Association, 2011).
Pulmonary Rehabilitation (including supervised exercise and education) has been proven to significantly improve: shortness of breath, exercise endurance, quality of life, and the risk of hospitalizations following an exacerbation of lung disease (the Canadian Thoracic Society, 2008 COPD Recommendations).
The BCFHT Pulmonary Rehab program takes place in a group setting and is facilitated by a Certified Respiratory Educator using the Living Well with COPDTM Curriculum. Living Well with COPDTM is a self-management education program developed to help patients with COPD (and their family) in managing their disease. It includes sessions on: nutrition, activity, medications and other important issues related to managing COPD. Other health care team members including a pharmacist and a dietitian and a Respirologist will be involved in the facilitation of some of the education sessions.
The program will run over an 8 week period, twice a week, for 2 hours. Patients who attend this program will receive: an in-depth assessment of their disease, education about their disease and a customized exercise plan developed by a certified personal fitness trainer, which they will learn during the program, and be able to continue with at home.
How can I join a pulmonary rehabilitation program?
To join a rehab program, you may need a referral from your doctor- ask about it on your next visit.