The official blog of the Lung Institute.
For people living with chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis and pulmonary fibrosis, performing daily tasks can become challenging. Because symptoms like shortness of breath and coughing drain energy levels quickly, even simple activities, including getting dressed, can feel nearly impossible do. To help you conserve your energy for the day, we’ve put together some tips about getting dressed with lung disease made easy.
Getting Dressed with Lung Disease Made Easy? How?
It may sound surprising, but we have come up with ways to help you get up and get dressed without feeling so out of breath and tired. Following these steps will help you have more energy to enjoy your favorite activities, so slip-on your shoes for golfing, gardening, fishing, cooking or playing with your grandkids.
Pick Your Outfit the Night Before
Sometimes choosing the day’s outfit in the morning takes longer than expected. However, if you have a chronic lung disease, all of that time spent standing in front of the closet trying to decide what to wear drains your energy more than it does for other people. Instead of standing at the closet in the morning, consider choosing tomorrow’s outfit the night before.
Before deciding what to wear, take a few minutes to think about what activities you’ll be doing the next day. When you’re ready, set a time limit of 10 minutes, or whatever works best for you, and choose your clothes and shoes for the next day. Once chosen, place them on an empty chair or the top of a dresser where you can reach them easily in the morning.
Sit Whenever Possible
In the morning when it’s time to get dressed, take a personal inventory of your energy level and any symptoms you are feeling. Because getting dressed involves more than just putting your clothes on, a great way to conserve your energy is to sit whenever possible. Bending over and standing can be difficult for people with chronic lung diseases. Keep a stool near your sink in the bathroom, so you can sit down while putting on make-up, brushing your teeth, combing your hair and shaving. If standing in the shower causes extra fatigue or shortness of breath, consider placing a shower-safe chair in your shower, so you can sit down if needed. These types of shower-safe chairs are available at local pharmacies as well as online.
When you are ready to put your clothes on, sit in a comfortable chair or on the edge of your bed. Make sure you feel sturdy and comfortable before beginning to put your clothes on. If you feel out of breath, give yourself a few minutes to relax and practice some relaxation techniques. Remember there’s no rush, so take your time while putting on your clothes.
Dress Comfortably and Wear Slip-on Shoes
Dress comfortably and in clothing that is appropriate for your daily activities. Tight fitting or constricting clothing can make breathing more difficult, so it’s best to avoid them. If shirts with buttons on them are difficult to fasten, try shirts that you can pull on instead. Because the weather can affect people with chronic lung diseases, keep a close eye on the weather report, so you can dress for success.
Many people with chronic lung diseases find loose fitting clothing more comfortable to wear as well as shoes that slip-on. Because bending over is uncomfortable and can cause problems, shoes that slip-on your feet easily are a great alternative to shoes with laces or Velcro fasteners. You can even keep a long shoe horn nearby to help you put your shoes on without having to bend over. Sometimes socks can restrict blood flow in people with certain chronic illnesses. To help keep the blood flowing to your feet easily, try compression-free socks. Of all the fabrics, cotton is the king because it is lightweight, soft and has good airflow to reduce sweating. So, keep an eye out for cotton fabrics.
Besides These Tips for Getting Dressed with Lung Disease Made Easy, What Else Can I Do to Improve My Quality of Life?
We hope these tips for getting dressed with lung disease made easy have been helpful for you. In combination with your current treatment plan, these tips along with alternative treatments, such as stem cell therapy, could improve your overall quality of life. Because stem cell therapy promotes healing within the lungs, many people have seen improvements in their lung function and have been able to get back to their daily tasks and favorite activities with more ease. In fact, many of our patients have reduced or come off of their oxygen therapy after treatment. If you or a loved one have COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung disease, contact us at (800) 729-3065 to learn about your treatment options.