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Setting activities of daily living Goals

Live a quality life

Depending on their medical diagnosis, most patients effectively manage long-term mechanical ventilation while living at home with their families. They go to school and work, travel, participate in their communities — and have a good quality of life.

Lifestyle goals

The ability to manage daily activities while living with a ventilator varies according to age, medical condition, anxiety, depression, and previous level of function. For best results, the patient, caregiver, and every member of the support team should share the same lifestyle goals.

  1. Moving and exercising
  2. Maintaining proper nutrition
  3. Balancing medication needs

Moving and exercising

Build your strength

People gain strength and stamina through exercise. A person who is more mobile (using their muscles more often) requires less oxygen to deliver the same amount of energy to the muscles, when compared to the more someone who is less mobile. Exercise trains the muscles of the body to be more efficient at utilizing oxygen.

Get moving

When people keep moving (exercising) and doing things for themselves like walking to the rest room, showering, grooming, shopping, visiting the doctor, visiting friends, and attending social, religious, and educational gatherings, they live longer, feel better, and feel happier.1,2,3

Maintaining proper nutrition

Find the best nutrition approach

The patient’s nutritional well-being is critical. A dietitian can work with your doctor to determine the best nutrition approach, depending on the patient’s illness.

Examples include:
  • A patient with kidney disease who must not take in too much protein
  • A diabetic patient who must control sugar or glucose
  • A patient with COPD who must not take in too many carbohydrates
  • An obese patient who needs to reduce calories
  • A patient with a high aspiration risk who must not take in too much food at one time.

Be aware that patients with a tracheostomy tube may lose their appetite. Because they cannot breathe through the nose or mouth, they may lose the ability to smell and taste food.

Balancing medication needs

Find the best medication

Certain medications, such as those for pain and anxiety, may both assist and complicate a patient’s life on a ventilator.

A patient in pain may have difficulty coping with ventilation — but pain medications may also be problematic for ventilator-assisted patients. Morphine, for example, can suppress a patient’s breathing. Anti-anxiety medications can make the patient very sleepy and unresponsive. Other medications make patients confused.

Remember that medication needed for pain relief can have severe and undesired side effects, which may interfere with respiratory efforts. Always consult your doctor if you notice any side effects or symptoms from medication.

The information and guidance presented on this website is informational only and not intended to influence practice or supersede the instructions for use of any specific device.