COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe.
One in 7 Australians aged 40 years and over are living with COPD (1). Early diagnosis is important to assist with the management of this disease during the early stages leading to:
- Better quality of life
- Decreased disease progression and mortality
- Reduced hospital admissions (2)
We fund the following local services to support COPD management:
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Service in the Hawkesbury
Through Hawkesbury District Health Service, we co-designed and fund the new Chronic Airways Limitation Management (CALM) pulmonary rehabilitation program. CALM is designed for anyone with a lung disease who has difficulty breathing and finds day-to-day activities getting harder, it is provided by a physiotherapist, specialist nurse and an assistant within Hawkesbury Community Health Services. The aims of CALM are to:
- increase your strength and the distance you can walk
- increase your quality of life
- increase your confidence and ability to cope
- keep you out of hospital.
In a twice a week 8 week group program, CALM provides:
- a supervised personal exercise program to improve your fitness and ability to do day-to-day activities
- education sessions to help with symptom management
- peer support and social interaction
- access to an ongoing exercise group (Lungs in Action which is also funded by the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network and runs out of Hawkesbury Community Health Services).
To participate in the program, you will need a referral from your GP or respiratory specialist.
Lungs in Action Exercise Class
We fund the Lungs in Action Exercise Group in the Hawkesbury, which is a safe exercise class for people with stable chronic lung conditions. The group meets on a Tuesday morning, 11am to 12pm at the Community Health Centre, Hawkesbury Hospital.
Classes are suitable for people using supplemental oxygen and / or walking frames. There are seated options for every exercise. To participate, you will need a referral from your GP, specialist or rehabilitation clinician.
The classes are run by Rebecca, who is specially trained in exercising people with lung disease and heart failure.Contact Rebecca on 0404 871 484 for more information.
Lungs in Action is an initiative developed by Lung Foundation Australia.
Poor lung health affects 1 in 4 Australians (3). In the Nepean Blue Mountains region, COPD is a leading cause of preventable hospitalisations (4).
Check-in with your lungs and have a chat with your doctor if you recognise COPD symptoms, which may include:
- Coughing more than usual
- Harder to breathe than usual
- Any change in sputum (phlegm) colour and/or volume
- Tired more than usual (less active)
A diagnosis of COPD should be considered for patients over 35 years who are a current or ex-smokers (5).
Speak to your doctor about confirming a COPD diagnosis by having a spirometry performed.
Learn more about COPD from John Ruttle, COPD patient and President of the Puffers and Wheezers support group
To help patients understand their lung condition and improve their quality of life, the Lung Foundation offers a post Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program called Lungs in Action. These programs are provided by health professionals and consist of exercise training and information sessions.
Local Lung in Action groups are located at:
Conference Room 1, Community Health Centre
Hawkesbury Hospital, 2 Day St
Windsor NSW 2753
Phone: Jane on 0401 569 215
Please visit the Lung Foundation Australia website:
If you are diagnosed with COPD, you can access FREE advice, support and resources to help you better understand and manage your condition by contacting the Lung Foundation.
1.Toelle B, Xuan W, Bird T, Abramson M, Burton D, Hunter M, Johns D, Maguire G,Wood-Baker R, Marks G. COPD in the Australian burden of lung disease (BOLD) study. Respirology [Internet] 2011 April 1-6 [cited 2017 May 1]; 16 (Suppl s1): 12.Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/res.2011.16.issues1/issuetoc
2. McKenzie DK, Frith PA, Burdon et al on behalf of The Australian Lung Foundation. The COPDX Plan: Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 2014, found at copdx.org.au
3. Lung Foundation Australia. Check in with your lungs. [internet]. No year given [cited 15 November 2017]; Available from: https://lungfoundation.com.au/lung-health/checklist/
4. Wentworth Healthcare Limited 2016/2017 Needs Assessment. Kingswood, Australia; 2017. 46 p. [cited 2017 May 1]. Available from: www.nbmphn.com.au/NeedsAssessment
5. McKenzie DK, Frith PA, Burdon et al on behalf of The Australian Lung Foundation. The COPDX Plan: Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 2014, found at copdx.org.au