Asthma Society launches its COVID-19 #CommunityCall resources

Asthma Society calls on volunteers to share its newly developed #CommunityCall resources with people cocooning with asthma and COPD

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Asthma Society’s advice on Covid-19  to the 9,463 people with asthma in Louth

Asthma Society’s advice on Covid-19

The Asthma Society of Ireland today launched a range of resources for the #CommunityCall initiative, including new asthma and COPD information booklets, FAQ videos and a newly developed webpage.

The #CommunityCall initiative, which was launched by the government earlier this month, will see local authorities, community and voluntary groups work together to ensure the most vulnerable people in society have everything they require to cocoon during the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.

Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society, said: “During these unprecedented times, it is extremely important that those considered “extremely medically vulnerable” have everything they need to cocoon, including those with asthma and COPD. We are particularly worried about people whose condition may be severe or currently uncontrolled.

Many patients will require the help of #CommunityCall volunteers to supply them with food and medication delivery and to support them as they work to manage their underlying condition.

Our new #CommunityCall webpage contains a number of resources that will help inform volunteers about the specific needs of people with severe asthma and severe COPD. On this page, volunteers will also find two new booklets which have been developed by the Asthma Society, called ‘Staying Well with Asthma and COPD’ and ‘Cocooning with COPD’. We ask #CommunityCall volunteers to print a copy of these booklets for those cocooning with who need support for their asthma and COPD. Both these booklets will help people cocooning gain a better understanding of their condition, which will help them better manage it.

To guide #CommunityCall volunteers, we have created a video to explain these resources from a respiratory nurse and also a video from Dr. Marcus Butler, a respiratory consultant, answering patient questions about asthma, COPD and coronavirus.”

People with asthma and COPD are considered to be at a greater risk if they do contract coronavirus. Having their condition properly managed will put them in a better position if they do come into contact with the disease.

Smoking puts you at greater risk

Helen Deely, Assistant National Director, HSE, Health and Wellbeing said: “People who smoke are considered to be at greater risk at this time. Stopping smoking reduces your risk during the current COVID situation.  It also reduces risk for people around you since second-hand smoke has many of the same impacts as smoking itself.   Importantly, stopping smoking and reducing your risk from COVID helps other people and Healthcare Workers by reducing requirements for health services under the period of intense strain anticipated - making those resources available to other people.   Smoking indoors in particular, puts those closest to you at risk, as exposure to second-hand smoke, affects the body’s natural resistance to fighting infections such as COVID-19.  Children are especially vulnerable to second-hand smoke because they breathe more rapidly and their lungs, airways and immune system are still developing. The best way to avoid this is by stopping smoking. For advice on how to this, access the online quit supports on quit.ie, on HSEQuit Facebook and through your personalised QuitPlan.

The Asthma Society’s #CommunityCall resources are part of the Asthma Society’s overarching programme of patient supports during the coronavirus pandemic - aiming to help people with asthma and COPD stay safe by providing them with the essential information, resources and guidance. The resources have been created with the assistance of COPD Support Ireland and the HSE.

Speaking about the resources Helen Deely, Assistant National Director, HSE, Health and Wellbeing continued: “So many people experiencing asthma and COPD need specialist advice at this time, I welcome these resources as an effective way of offering support through the Community Call initiative, by giving excellent advice to the most vulnerable people. These new resources will further enhance the #CommunityCall initiative by providing both practical advice to volunteers and trusted, clear information to people with asthma and COPD about how to best mind themselves."

The Asthma Society’s free Asthma and COPD Adviceline has been inundated with calls from people with asthma and COPD who are concerned about what coronavirus means for them. In order to meet the demands during the pandemic, the Asthma Society has allocated additional staff and hours to the Adviceline. People with asthma/COPD and their families and carers who are looking for advice on managing their condition during these challenging times, can call for free 1800 44 54 64 to arrange a telephone appointment with a respiratory nurse specialist who will assist them in getting their condition in control. The Asthma Society website also includes many materials about asthma and COPD management during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Asthma Society of Ireland is asking for the help of their members and supporters

Sarah O’Connor, concluded: “We’ve have been working extremely hard to ensure people with asthma and/or COPD across Ireland have all the information they need to remain as safe as possible during the current coronavirus pandemic.

As an organisation, we have all been working additional hours, to ensure we get to as many Adviceline calls as possible, to provide medically accurate and up-to-date information on the coronavirus, and to ensure the needs of people with asthma and/or COPD are being heard by the government.

We are currently at full capacity in the work that we do, but there is still so much more that needs to be done to support you, your family members and friends. If you’d like to support us, please give as little as €4 by texting ASTHMA to 50300 or go to www.asthma.ie to make a donation. We greatly appreciate your support at this time.”

Text costs €4. The Asthma Society of Ireland will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.

The Asthma Society’s #CommunityCall page: https://www.asthma.ie/ communitycall