Asthma Society and COPD Support Ireland Announce COPD Self-Management Masterclass as Part of Winter Wellness Series 

COPD Webinar: join us for tips on managing your COPD this winter

There are currently an estimated 200,000 people diagnosed with COPD in Ireland, and a further 300,000 people living with symptoms but currently undiagnosed according to the Department of Health National Healthcare Quality Report 2019. Triggers such as cold air, air pollution, and viral infections are likely to cause people living with COPD and respiratory conditions problems at this time of year, and can lead to severe flare ups.

With this in mind, the Asthma Society and COPD Support Ireland have partnered to host a webinar, COPD Self-Management Masterclass on Thursday, 26th November at 5:30 pm via zoom.  Featuring Consultant Respiratory Physician Professor Marcus Butler, Clinical Nurse Specialist Cherry Wynne and Respiratory Nurse Specialist Ruth Morrow, the masterclass aims to educate people with COPD, their carers, and healthcare professionals on how to stay well this winter. The free event will take place on zoom, and registration can be completed via https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xyjl6QqHT_WpTbQtJcDrAA.

The masterclass aims to provide detailed information for people with COPD so they can manage their condition better and stay well this winter.

Joan Johnston, National coordinator, COPD Support Ireland, said of the masterclass:
“This masterclass is a fantastic follow on event from our recent “Living Well with COPD in a COVID World”  Virtual patient conference.  It will give people living with COPD an opportunity to learn more detailed information about the self-management techniques they can use this winter to maintain their physical health.

We would greatly encourage people with COPD or COPD symptoms to make time to attend this informational event, which will be packed with practical tips, and provide an opportunity for people living with COPD to ask questions and  prepare themselves for the colder months ahead.  People can also call the HSE-funded COPD Adviceline on 1800 83 21 46 to make an appointment for expert one to one self-management support from a Respiratory Nurse.”

To further support people with COPD to follow during the colder months the Asthma Society has created a Winter Wellness Guide available via www.asthma.ie which includes practical tips on how to stay well this winter including:

  1. Download a COPD Communications Card from copd.ie and bring it with you on your next GP visit.
  2. Get the flu and pneumococcal vaccine.
  3. Follow the HSE’s advice on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face and wear a mask when you are out and about.
  4. Take your medication as prescribed and work with your nurse or GP to get your disease under control.
  5. Remember; cold air can trigger your COPD – take precautions to reduce the risk of it triggering an COPD flare up by wearing a mask or snood.

Speaking of the Winter Wellness Guide, Emily Blennerhasset, Interim CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said: “We often hear from users of our HSE-funded COPD Adviceline and our Slaintecare-funded COPD WhatsApp messaging service that they experience a flare-up of their symptoms during the winter months. Many with respiratory conditions can experience a poorer quality of life in the winter months for this reason.

Our Winter Wellness Guide includes advice from the HSE, input from our Medical Advisory Group, and hints and tips from both our COPD nurses and patients on keeping well during cold weather and we hope users find it helpful.”

People who have questions about managing their COPD during the Winter months are encouraged to freephone the HSE-funded COPD Adviceline on 1800 83 21 46 or to send a WhatsApp message to their Sláintecare funded COPD WhatsApp Nurse service on 086 059 0132.

Both services are free and allow users to communicate directly with a COPD nurse. The respiratory nurses work through every aspect of life with COPD: what to do in the event of a COPD flare up, answering questions after a GP or consultant appointment, dealing with triggers that may be bringing on COPD symptoms, and helping users put together a COPD Communications Card to self-manage their condition. After speaking to one of these nurses, users will be fully equipped with the information and skills they need to improve their health and stay as well as possible.

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