Article  |   January 2013
Intervention Strategies for Individuals With Early Alzheimer’s Disease and COPD
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • George A. Voyzey
    Genesis Rehab Services
  • Disclosure: George A. Voyzey has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.
    Disclosure: George A. Voyzey has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.×
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging
Article   |   January 2013
Intervention Strategies for Individuals With Early Alzheimer’s Disease and COPD
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology January 2013, Vol.18, 27-33. doi:10.1044/gero18.1.27
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology January 2013, Vol.18, 27-33. doi:10.1044/gero18.1.27

An elderly individual’s ability to generate a functional cough is compromised by the loss of expiratory muscle strength (sarcopenia) and reduced elastic recoil of the lungs, resulting in reduced expiratory flow rates and velocity and a decreased intrathoracic airway pressure increasing the risk for aspiration and pneumonia. The addition of COPD and Alzheimer’s disease to the individual’s comorbidities limit a successful respiratory therapy program and the speech-language pathologist’s interventions. The following activities promote expiratory muscle strength building and endurance for individuals diagnosed on the Global Deterioration Scale Stage 3 through early Stage 6. The respiratory therapist and attending physician should provide baselines and benchmarks for the speech-language pathologist throughout the individual’s treatment. The activities listed here need to be a component of a multidisciplinary intervention that includes upper extremity exercise and walking for strength building and endurance.

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