A new support and exercise group is being established for people in Carrick-on-Suir and surrounding communities living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The new Carrick-on-Suir COPD Support Ireland Group is inviting people to a launch event in the Carraig Hotel on Carrick’s Main Street on Friday, March 24 from 11am to 1pm.

COPD is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema and is one of the most common respiratory diseases in Ireland.

It usually affects people over the age of 35. It is a disease that makes it hard to empty air out of your lungs. This is because the airways get smaller leading to airflow obstruction. This can result in shortness of breath or tiredness because you are working harder to breathe.

The establishment of the group results from collaboration between the COPD Support Ireland organisation, Tipperary Sports Partnership, people living with breathlessness in Carrick-on-Suir and surrounding areas and the HSE Community Specialist Respiratory team in south Tipperary.

Weekly group meetings will provide an opportunity to exercise safely amongst peers, improve self-management and quality of life. It will be suited to all fitness levels. The group will have the services of a fully qualified trainer and the organisers promise it will be great fun for all ages.

The goal of these peer-to-peer support groups is to motivate, engage and support people living with COPD overcome any negative feelings and physical symptoms in their day-to-day life through the integration of peer support and care.

Participating in regular exercise is proven to increase muscle strength, flexibility, strength and most importantly control of breathing and quality of life for those living with COPD.

Among those attending the launch will be Sinéad Delahunty, Senior Respiratory Physiotherapist with the HSE’s Community Specialist Respiratory Team based at the South Tipperary Chronic Disease Management Hub at St Brigid’s Hospital, Carrick-on-Suir.

“We want to let people know the Carrick-on-Suir COPD Support Ireland Group will provide weekly fun exercise classes and an opportunity for people living with COPD to learn more about how to manage their condition from each other and local health care and community professionals.

“It will be a great community support that will assist patients and their families to exercise, be smoke free and look after their physical and mental health while having fun and making friends.”

The first support group meeting will take place in the Carrick Swan Juvenile GAA Centre at the car park next to Carrick Library on Monday, March 27 at 11am.

For further information on venues and times for activities, contact (083) 086 4118 or alternatively e-mail: [email protected]

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