|The ThedaCare At Home Respiratory Therapists group recently sponsored
this useful discussion on cleaning PAP equipment at a recent A.W.A.K.E.
meeting held at Appleton Medical Center in Appleton, WI.
A.W.A.K.E. (Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic) is a support group for people with sleep breathing disorders.
The organization, fostered by the American Sleep Apnea Association, offers regular meetings to members nationwide to help serve their interests and concerns.
The meetings are free to attend and open to anyone who wants to learn more about living with and managing a sleep breathing disorder like sleep apnea.
These groups are especially helpful to people who may be struggling with or intimidated by the initiation of PAP therapy, but the meetings can also be of great value to long-term users so they can stay abreast of new technologies and learn about ways they can improve their own therapies.
Also, long-term users are usually quite willing to share the wealth of their practical wisdom and advice, culled from first-hand experience, with newer patients, and there are typically PAP educators, nurses, sleep technologists or sleep health educators, even sleep physicians, on site to answer questions, demonstrate new equipment and give emotional and family support. Sometimes these meetings include great informative talks directed at educating both patients and their families on the many concerns related to obstructive sleep apnea.
You can find an A.W.A.K.E. group in your area, you can consult this national map. If there isn’t one close by, and you are motivated to get one started, you can contact your local sleep lab to see if they would like to help you host and direct a new group; it’s in their best interest to provide free educational workshops and meetings for their patients, so they should be supportive of your request.