Importance of Mobility and How it Helps Individuals Living with COPD: Insights from AnsibleChat
In the education session that took place on Monday, September 25th 2023, patients and healthcare professionals discussed the importance of mobility for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other health conditions. Walking, or maintaining one's gait, was emphasized as crucial for overall health. As Bridget Winay, who leads AnsibleHealth exercise physiology program, mentioned during the discussion: "A slow walking speed is associated with a greater risk of disease, cognitive decline, falls, and even earlier death." Therefore, staying mobile is essential for patients with COPD and other health concerns.
During the AnsibleHealth Chat patients shared their personal experiences and tips for staying mobile and active. One participant mentioned the importance of setting specific goals: "I try to walk to the end of the driveway at least three times a day." Others discussed the importance of pacing oneself to avoid overexertion. "My speed is really quick," said one participant, "and then I lose my breath and have to stop and recover."
Many patients also discussed the benefits of using assistive devices like walkers and canes for added stability. "I try to use the walker when I go to doctor appointments," shared one patient. In addition to walking, participants highlighted other forms of physical activity that could help improve mobility. Stretching, yoga, balance exercises, and Tai Chi were all mentioned as valuable activities for maintaining flexibility and reducing the risk of falls.
The discussion also touched on the importance of having a support system in place for patients with COPD. This includes access to case managers or navigators who can help coordinate care and ensure that patients receive the necessary resources and education about their condition. One participant noted that case managers are available for other major diseases but are often lacking for those with COPD: "I should have had a case manager, as all of us should have had the minute we got diagnosed with COPD."
Overall, the conversation emphasized the importance of staying mobile not only to improve physical health but also to maintain mental well-being. As one participant put it: "Just staying moving is incredibly important." By setting achievable goals, using assistive devices when necessary, and engaging in various forms of physical activity, individuals with COPD can work towards better overall health and quality of life.
If you want to learn more about other topics related to pulmonary health and wellbeing, we invite you to join our community of guests for the next discussion.
Our next AnsibleChat is happening on October 9, 2023. In this upcoming session we will host an open forum where we will connect folks with AnsibleHealth clinicians and open the floor up for questions and discussion about relevant topics and questions!
Sign up below - we hope to see you there!