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Breathing October 27, 2022

Respiratory Care at Nursing and Rehab Centers

By: Country Meadows | Rehabilitation

Breathing is essential to life. Experiencing shortness of breath or being unable to breathe is scary and unsettling, but help is available. Nursing and rehab programs can help people manage their symptoms, learn how and when to use their oxygen correctly, monitor medications, reduce hospitalizations and improve their quality of life.

According to the American Lung Association, as our bodies age, changes affect lung tissue, muscles and bones, which work together to help us breathe. Body changes that may cause a decrease in lung capacity include:

  • Weakened air sacs in the lungs that transfer gasses between the airways and bloodstream.
  • Weakened diaphragm that decreases the ability to inhale and exhale.
  • Thinner rib bones alter the ribcage making it less able to expand and contract.
  • Weakened immune system making individuals more vulnerable to infections such as influenza, pneumonia and COVID-19.

Nursing and rehab centers can help people breathe easier. In addition to providing care to manage respiratory issues, these programs typically provide education on the individual’s pulmonary condition, associated medications, physical exercises and breathing techniques; offer nutritional counseling and support emotional health.

Common illnesses treated by nursing and rehab programs

Some of the most common respiratory illnesses affecting seniors can be aided through nursing and rehab. These illnesses include:

  • Asthma. Asthma occurs when the lungs’ airways become inflamed making breathing difficult. It is characterized by wheezing, tight chest, difficulty breathing and a cough.
  • COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD, covers a variety of diseases that damage the lungs. It is characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, inability to perform physical activity without becoming winded and cough.
  • Bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a form of COPD that produces a chronic, productive cough that is worse upon waking. It may get worse without treatment.

Similar to a nursing and rehab program, Country Meadows’ Progressions program provides short-term support to help seniors recover from conditions such as COPD, asthma and other respiratory challenges as well as from surgery and other illnesses.

Unlike many nursing and rehab facilities, Country Meadows’ Progressions program is offered on our campuses in a warm, home-like setting. The program includes:

  • Access to on-site physical, occupational and speech therapy and assistive devices
  • Ongoing support to manage conditions
  • Medication management
  • Personal Care assistance with bathing, dressing, hygiene and laundry

Individuals reside in a furnished apartment and enjoy three daily meals with individualized diet support, if needed.

Receiving nursing and rehab through Progressions, Country Meadows’ guests receive the care they need to regain independence and return to their previous lifestyle. Many individuals enjoy their stay and choose to become permanent residents.

In addition to our Progressions program that offers nursing and rehab services, Country Meadows offers affordable senior living options on its nine campuses in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Maryland. Contact our team to learn how we can support you or a loved one. Our friendly co-workers are always available to help!


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