An open day, with the aim of establishing a COPD peer support and exercise group, will be held in Clonard Community Centre, Wexford town on Friday, November 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. COPD is not one single disease but an umbrella term used to describe chronic lung diseases which include Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema.
The open day is a collaboration between COPD Support Ireland, Sports Active Wexford and the HSE, and is supported by a lottery grant from South East Community Health Care (HSE).
As part of the COPD peer support and exercise group, Bryan Mullett (Sports Active Wexford) will co-ordinate weekly exercise classes in Clonard Community Centre. Members of Sports Active Wexford will be available at the Open Day to demonstrate a variety of activities. The support group will run ongoing every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., starting from December 6.
Michael Drohan from the Board of COPD Support Ireland, and Luke Cleere from the Kilkenny COPD Support Group, will be present to share their experiences of the benefits of a COPD support group. The Respiratory team from Wexford General Hospital, who run the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme will also be in attendance with a flavour of the education sessions that are planned to be a regular feature of the Wexford Support Group.
Senior Respiratory Physiotherapists Sara Leacy and Olga Riley will talk about the benefits of exercise in COPD and Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialists, Emer Sarsfield and Niall Kennedy will give an overview of COPD.
All members of the public who may be living with breathlessness due to COPD, Asthma and related respiratory conditions, along with their families and carers, are welcome to attend the Open Day, to help establish a much needed support group in Wexford.
Kate O Connor, self-management support coordinator for long term conditions in South East Community Healthcare, said: 'The vision for the Wexford COPD peer support and exercise group is to provide an opportunity for people with breathlessness to meet to give each other encouragement and support while also partaking in weekly exercise classes and learning more about how to manage their condition through regular education sessions.'
A member of Wexford COPD support group Lanie Bruce said: 'I could just about get around before pulmonary rehab; after pulmonary rehab I smashed my own goals, I am looking forward to helping others doing the same.'