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Clin Chest Med. 1993 Sep;14(3):429-36.

Pulmonary rehabilitation in the elderly patient.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Winthrop-University Hospital, Mineola, New York.


Pulmonary rehabilitation in the elderly can be a rewarding experience for the patient and the health care provider. Rehabilitation programs are well established as a means of enhancing standard medical therapy, optimizing functional capacity, and restoring a patient to the highest possible level of independent function. The demonstrated benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation include an improved quality of life, increased exercise endurance, improved ability to perform daily tasks, reduced hospitalization, and improved psychosocial adjustment. Participation in a group program helps reduce social isolation, whereas postprogram patient-support groups help to keep patients motivated and positive in their outlook. Through pulmonary rehabilitation the elderly patient learns to accept and overcome the reality of his or her disease rather than dwell on its limitations. An individually tailored comprehensive rehabilitation program can make the difference between a fulfilling life and a life of pulmonary disability.

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