At Respiratory Health Association we work to empower people living with lung disease by teaching them skills to manage their health. With proper care, many people with chronic respiratory disease can live full and active lives.
One way we reach people is through our annual Living Better Together COPD Conference. Nearly 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many are likely living with early symptoms that haven’t been diagnosed.
On November 15, RHA held our 15th annual Living Better Together COPD Conference (LBT) in Rolling Meadows, IL. LBT is the largest patient and caregiver-focused COPD conference in the country and draws attendees from across the Illinois and northwest Indiana.
COPD Educational Content
Each year, the LBT conference provides COPD patients and their caregivers opportunities to speak with respiratory health experts, swap notes on best practices, and learn about new techniques for COPD management.
This year sessions included:
- Understanding COPD Medication
Attendees learn about COPD medications and practice how to use COPD medication devices properly with the support of health care providers.
- Got Oxygen? Oxygen Use in Daily Living
Covers various oxygen devices on the market and provides insight into which device may work best for participants.
- Mindfulness-Centering and COPD
An introduction to mindfulness practices and how they may lead to improved COPD management and wellness.
- Primary Care Providers’ Role in Managing Your COPD
Participants learn how to partner with primary care providers when managing COPD.
- Care Transitions from Hospital to Home
A practical session on how to develop a plan following a COPD-related hospitalization.
Over 350 guests registered for the day-long conference, and many attendees return annually.
To ensure the comfort and participation of our guests, many of whom rely on portable oxygen devices, Health Care Group Solutions, Inc. donated oxygen to conference attendees. Pulmonary rehabilitation student volunteers from Malcolm X College and Rush University Medical Center administered oxygen throughout the program ensuring that all attendees could enjoy the conference without worrying about their oxygen supply.
COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit
New to the LBT conference this year was RHA’s first-ever focus group for the COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit.
Thanks to a National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Learn More, Breath Better subcontract, earlier this year RHA was able to distribute copies of the toolkit to patients with COPD and their caregivers. During the Living Better Together COPD Conference we received valuable feedback on the usefulness and value provided by the toolkit.
The COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit is the first-of-its-kind resource designed based on caregiver, patient, and health care provider input.
The Toolkit is designed around questions like:
- How do I help the person I’m caring for manage COPD?
- How do I help after a COPD flare-up (exacerbation) or hospital stay?
- How do I take care of myself while managing someone else’s care?
With the continued support of NHLBI and feedback from this pilot program, RHA hopes to finalize the toolkit and make it widely available as a resource for people living with COPD and their caregivers.