A ‘life changing’ programme helping chronic respiratory patients

When something takes your breath away – but not in a good way – the Better Breathing program may be able to help you get it back!

This pulmonary rehabilitation programme is designed to help patients with chronic respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis, and cystic fibrosis.

“We help patients living with chronic respiratory conditions to manage their condition and improve their quality of life. It can also help reduce hospital admissions in the future, “says Better Breathing Coordinator, Sarah Candy.

One such patient is Suzanne from Pakuranga. She has bronchiectasis, which affects her lungs, making breathing difficult and causing phlegm build-up. She is also more prone to lung infections.

She was referred to the Better Breathing Clinic and says the programme has been life-changing.

“When you have a breathing condition and it interferes with your daily life, you can feel like life is going downhill.

“This programme helps give you the ability to better manage your condition and helps you get your life back."

Suzanne says she was taught breathing techniques to help her breathe more effectively and help clear her lungs.

 “The physios there are helpful, informative, and encouraging. They give you the tools and information to learn about your condition, which is really important.

“I also have an exercise regime they gave me that I really enjoy - and at 68, it is easy to do. I still do it.

“I feel very lucky I got to go to this programme. I attended twice a week for six weeks, but then COVID-19 came along, so they did the classes by Zoom.

“I remember one day I accidentally turned my camera off during the exercises, and one of the physios rang me to check that I was ok. They are just really lovely and supportive.

“I still do the maintenance classes they offer, and I enjoy my exercises,“ says Suzanne.

If you are living with a chronic breathing condition, you may benefit from this free Better Breathing programme, ask your GP or health professional about a referral.

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