In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice is shining the spotlight on its Better Breathing program. Better Breathing is a nationally-recognized in-home pulmonary rehabilitation program that relies on physical therapy interventions to care for persons with breathing difficulty. Below, CVHHH’s Better Breathing Physical Therapists, Melanie Moore and Colleen Wilford work with patients in their homes.
Better Breathing takes a three-pronged approach to providing care that includes exercise training, education and behavior change. The program is ordered by a doctor for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, congestive heart failure (CHF), serious asthma and/or neuromuscular diseases. Patients work with a dedicated physical therapist, who develops an individualized plan of care based on the patient’s goals.
What makes Better Breathing unique, and successful, is the comprehensive, on-on-one care that patients receive from the therapists to improve their health related quality of life. Therapists evaluate a patient’s physical and functional status, paying particular attention to posture, breathing patterns and mobility, and provide exercise training to build strength, improve aerobic capacity, endurance and breathing. Education is another critical component and focuses on teaching the basics of the disease, medication administration and strategies to deal with the anxiety related to shortness of breath.