In the News

In the News

June 22, 2015

Breathing can be made easier
Daily Item of Lynn
by Stephanie Patel, MD, VP and Chief Medical Officer
Care Dimensions

Being able to breathe easily without coughing or wheezing is something many of us take for granted. However, when you suffer from a chronic respiratory condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis and chronic asthma, every breath can be difficult causing both physical and emotional distress as you gasp for air.

When these conditions have reached an advanced state, symptoms can become life-threatening and may include breathing distress, coughing and/or fluid buildup, increased anxiety or depression, difficulty walking, increased fatigue or excessive sleeping, loss of appetite or weight loss, frequent doctor visits, hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room.

These symptoms often make daily living and activities more challenging and may signal that it’s time to consider the additional help of hospice services.

How can hospice help?

Care Dimensions has trained and experienced staff who offer specialized services to help evaluate a patient’s condition and develop a plan of care to reduce episodes of respiratory distress and other symptoms. Our services for patients with chronic respiratory conditions include:

  • Individualized daily assessment visits or phone calls to assure comfort and ease anxiety.
  • A dedicated interdisciplinary team led by a full-time physician board certified in hospice and palliative medicine.
  • Symptom management procedures for shortness of breath, cough, fluid buildup and respiratory infections to help patients better manage symptoms before they get out of control.
  • Medication management, including ordering and payment for respiratory disease related medications.
  • Medical equipment management, including ordering of oxygen, nebulizers, hospital beds, etc.
  • Complementary therapies that reduce stress and promote a feeling of well-being, such as music and art therapy, massage, Reiki and pet therapy visits.
  • Coordination of care with the patient’s personal physician or pulmonologist.
  • Emotional support and spiritual assistance from our social workers and chaplains.
  • Trained volunteers who can provide companionship.
Why choose Care Dimensions’ Specialized Respiratory Program?

For chronic respiratory conditions, daily monitoring and vigilance is critical because if increasing symptoms are caught in time, many times a flare-up or trip to the emergency room can be avoided.

That’s why Care Dimensions staff call or visit daily to monitor key symptom indicators, as well as issues of anxiety or pain. In addition, Care Dimensions provides self-care monitoring tools to help patients know when to seek assistance for their symptoms. If symptoms do escalate, patients can receive treatment for their symptoms at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, where they can get hospital-level medical care in a warm, home-like environment.

If the symptoms of chronic respiratory disease have become life-threatening or have affected the quality of your life or that of a loved one, please call the experts at Care Dimensions. We have grown to become the largest and most experienced hospice program in the state, serving more than 90 communities and nearly 5,000 patients and families per year.

A nonprofit organization, Care Dimensions is committed to helping people better understand hospice and respiratory care and to make access to services easier.


Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 95 communities in Eastern Massachusetts.