Medication Reminders and Personal Care | How Can a Caregiver Help Improve Quality of Life for Those with COPD?


Did you know that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, affects over 11 million people in the United States? Although this disease impacts millions of people and is the third leading cause of death in the United States, it still goes uncurable. Although there is no cure for COPD, there are ways to mitigate the side effects of the disease and ways to live a happy life with the disease. There are several types of COPD, such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema.

After a COPD diagnosis, people with COPD and their family members may start to feel as though their quality of life has taken a hit due to the side effects and complications that come with this disease. It is advised that individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease hire an in-home caregiver to help them with their day to day tasks that may become increasingly challenging to accomplish due to their side effects of COPD, such as shortness of breath. Perhaps one of the most important tasks an in-home caregiver can achieve with a COPD patient is a personal care and medication reminders, as that will ensure the individual is living a happy, healthy and on-track lifestyle.

What is Personal Care? How can a Caregiver Help?

Personal care is best defined as services that allow the individuals being cared for to have assistance with activities and services that they could have once done on their own, but now simply cannot. Certain personal care services that a caregiver can provide include assistance with the following: bathing (showers, baths, etc.), bathroom activities such as using the toilet, personal hygiene such as oral hygiene and hair care, getting dressed and walking to get around the home. By hiring an in-home caregiver to help an individual with COPD around their home, people with COPD and their loved ones can ensure that they are being given quality attention and consistency that they deserve.

Individuals living with COPD may experience complications that can impact their quality of life and their ability to take care of themselves. Complications of COPD include lung cancer, high blood pressure, respiratory infections, heart disease, and depression. As an individual with COPD experiences more complications, he or she may be unable to care for themselves the way they used to. Due to shortness of breath, they may be unable to walk to the restroom when they need, leaving them prone to accidents that can be both unhygienic and embarrassing for them. By simply hiring an in-home caregiver, that person living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease will always have an extra set of hands around their home to help assist with their toileting activities and ensure that they are able to get to the restroom when they need it, in a safe manner.

Additionally, for those with COPD, they may fall into a deep depression due to their increased illness and lack of independence after their diagnosis. When an individual fall into a depression due to an illness, he or she may start to feel as though their purpose in life has been stripped from them within a matter of moments. While that person may feel as though he or she has nothing left to live for, or perhaps they feel that their personal hygiene and well-being is not important anymore, their loved ones and medical professionals may disagree. By hiring an in-home caregiver for personal care reasons, the individual can continue to live in the comfort of their own home, while adhering to their prescribed care plan.

Not only will a caregiver allow the individual to stay in the comfort of their own home and remain in good hands, but they will allow the family to have peace of mind. An in-home caregiver can settle the restless minds of family members of those with COPD in many ways, as they offer a wide variety of services that will benefit those with COPD greatly. Perhaps the second most important service that an in-home caregiver can offer those with Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disorder is medication reminders.

What are Medication Reminders? How Can a Caregiver Help?

When an individual with COPD is discharged from a hospital stay or sent home after their initial diagnosis, they are likely to be sent home with a prescribed care plan.  This care plan likely includes the medications that he or she should be taking, as well as the frequency they should be taking them. The patient will also likely be given strict instructions on the side effects of the prescribed COPD medication and how to manage said side effects should they present themselves.

An in-home caregiver can help individuals with COPD adhere to their long term care plan and to ensure that the proper medication is being taken at the proper time. Medication reminder services through a home care agency allow the individual living with COPD, as well as the family, have peace of mind that the proper dose of medication will be given to the individual at the proper time. The caregiver can attend doctors’ appointments with the client to ensure that they are clear on their medication schedules, as well as the side effects of each that they need to look out for. Should the individual with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease demonstrate signs of these side effects, the caregiver can not only inform the family but call a doctor or 911 in case of an emergency. Having a caregiver there for medication reminders can not only serve as an extra set of eyes in case of an emergency but can also be there to remind the patient to take their medication to avoid negative complications due to their disease. Simply put, a highly-skilled caregiver can allow the family of the individual with COPD to know their loved one is in good hands and will be cared for while they are in the comfort of their home.

Your Home Care Options

Finding the right in-home care provider for your loved one or yourself is not an easy feat, as it is a life-altering decision that should not be taken lightly. Inviting an in-home caregiver into the privacy of a loved one’s home, or your own home can be scary and intimidating. However, when done properly through a reputable home care company, finding the right home care provider can be encouraging and reassuring, like a light at the end of the tunnel. Proper in-home care providers are bonded and insured and are covered by liability insurance. Not only will the caregivers be highly-skilled and trained, but they will be hand-selected to work with clients that fit their personality and will grow together during their time working with one another.  In-home care providers should provide a sense of relief and peace within the home, bringing your loved one with COPD a sense of happiness and gratitude to have help around their home, rather than displacing them and moving them into a home or facility. To learn more about home care, please visit or call (800) 522-1516.