COPD, you and housework

If you have COPD and don't have help in the house, the housework will start piling up soon enough. But there are many things you can do to make life a lot easier for yourself.

Carting away. Get a utility cart on which you can place things you pick up or cleaning agents. Clean in a circle, avoiding having to move backwards and forwards, thereby exhausting yourself.

Neat and tidy. If you are feeling ill, it is all the more important to live in tidy and orderly surroundings, as it can get quite depressing if it is untidy.

Up and down. Carrying things downstairs normally does not present any problems. Carrying them back upstairs could be problematic. Either get someone to do it for you, or go very slowly one or two steps at a time. Exhale and go up a step or two. Rest. Do not exhaust yourself. What does it matter if it takes a few minutes?

Join the singles. If you live in a double story house, seriously consider moving to a single storey one. Much energy is wasted going up and down stairs.

Get help. If you can afford it, get help once a week. It makes a big difference if you can have someone else doing strenuous tasks such as washing floors, hanging washing and vacuuming.

Don't be tong-tied. A pair of tongs is extremely handy as it will prevent you having to bend down or stretch to get things off the floor or from hard-to-reach places.

Don't do the dustbag. Try and get someone to change the dustbag on the vacuum cleaner for you. There are few things more irritating to your lungs than if you do this task yourself.

Clean sweep. Sweeping and feather-dusting should not be done by you. Use a damp cloth for dusting if you really have to do it yourself.

Get masked. If you have no alternative to doing these jobs yourself, wear a face mask to minimise the amount of dust you inhale.

Definite no-nos. Aerosols are out as are oven cleaners or any other household items that can vaporise, such as kerosene or mothballs or powders.

- (Susan Erasmus, Health24)

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