Beginning with a complete evaluation by the pulmonary rehabilitation team and medical director, we will tailor an individualized education and exercise program to help participants understand and cope with their disease and function more comfortably and independently.
The professional team approach
The pulmonary rehabilitation team is associated with other medical professionals at Cheshire Medical Center. The participants include:
- Medical Director/Pulmonologist
- Pulmonary rehab coordinator
- Registered respiratory therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Physical therapist
- Registered dietician
- Social worker
Those participating in the program are referred by their physicians. Participants must be medically stable and motivated to enhance their quality of life.
Once a physician referral is made, the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Coordinator will contact you to discuss your future rehab program. You will be evaluated before rehab by the Medical Director, the Respiratory Therapist and Physician Therapist. There may be some testing involved before rehab. This may include pulmonary function tests, labs and a chest x-ray.
Individualized exercise programs
Our program consists of 24 sessions that include an exercise program designed specifically to fit your appropriate level of activity. The exercise program will use both upper body and lower body exercises and stretches. The exercise machines available include treadmills, arm and leg ergometers, nustep and bikes.
Respiratory therapists and physical therapists will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturations and ratings of shortness of breath. Each session will include warmups, aerobic conditioning, upper body strength training and a cool-down. The exercise workload will be based on your beginning evaluations and will be increased as you progress through the program. You will also participate in an individualized strengthening program using therabands, hand weights and Cybex equipment led by the Physical Therapists.
What else will happen?
The non-exercise portions of the program include stress management, group support and education on various topics including:
- breathing retraining
- activities of daily living
- warning signs of infection
- medications/inhaler use
- energy conservation
- respiratory system
- oxygen use
Our goal for you
Our goal is to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to live better with chronic lung disease. You will also find support and understanding from the pulmonary rehabilitation staff and other members of your group.
We encourage you to join the monthly Better Breathers support group after you have completed the program.
Our program is reimbursable through most major insurance companies. Prior approval may be required in some instances. The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Coordinator will help you check your individual insurance plan before your pulmonary rehabilitation program begins.
We also offer a financial assistance program at Cheshire Medical Center.
Mary Ann Riley, RRT
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Coordinator