1. Live on the first floor. If you’re moving or if you can alter your home set-up, opt for a bedroom on the first floor as taking the stairs is good exercise.
2. Buy safe shoes. Whether you’re relaxing at home or getting some exercise, comfortable, supportive, lace-up shoes are a sensible purchase. Wear a shoe that’s going to be good for balance and ensure foot and joint support. Not sandals or flip flops as these are not good for balance or grip.
3. Pick up clutter. Older people are at a greater risk of tripping over clutter due to a decreased ability to stay balanced but also you should keep walking paths clear so that oxygen cords don’t get tangled up. Besides clutter, throw rugs are a tripping hazard and should be removed.
4. Walk slowly and steadily rather than quickly or at various speeds. Pacing yourself can help retain both your energy and your stamina.
5. Do necessary tasks and harder chores at whatever time of day you feel is your best breathing time, so you may need to adjust and do certain activities at new times.
6. Rest when you NEED to rest and don’t force yourself to overdo things.
7. Buy yourself a grabbing device for picking up things from the floor and for reaching items on high shelves. Activities that require you to bend over or to raise your arms above your head will make you more short of breath.
8. Use water-based lubricants to help soothe your skin. Oxygen may dry out your skin, mouth, or throat so you can use gauze to prevent your ears or cheeks from becoming sore and water-based lubricants on your lips and nostrils to prevent dryness.
9. Wear oxygen during activities. Many people tend to take off their oxygen when they climb stairs or walk to the post box, but these are the times when your body needs oxygen the most. You can use a portable oxygen pack that you can switch to but return to the concentrator when you have finished your task. If you don’t wear the oxygen then you’ll become exhausted and put yourself at greater risk for injury.
10. Take your oxygen into the shower. Many people don’t realise that they can wear oxygen while bathing and doing so can help you avoid fatigue while you complete what could be a strenuous task and make it safer, too. You can put a fan in the bathroom as it can be difficult to be closed up in a hot, humid bathroom. Keep the door open if you can, use a fan to blow air out, and crack open any windows to help you breathe easier. You can buy a shower chair, which will allow you to sit down while you bathe, helping you to conserve energy and avoid falls. You can also install a detachable shower head, which is very helpful because you won’t have to hold your arms over your head which is a tiring position that also disturbs your balance in the shower. If it has a long, flexible arm it will make it easier to reach all of your body parts with less exertion.
References: http://www.drugs.com and http://www.thelamfoundation.org and http://www.everydayhealth.com
Image credit: Female Jogger on Coleman Avunue in Morro Bay, CA 5-2-07 - Photo by Mike Baird http://bairdphotos.com Canon 20D 100-400mm IS lens handheld from an outrigger canoe. Reference: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/Jogging_Woman_in_Grass.jpg