My mother in law has multiple health issues, including COPD. She is taking a conventional approach to medicine.
A year ago she was doing very poorly. She was hospitalized for a week and was in a wheelchair when she went in to rehab after her condition stabilized. She was way too weak and compromised to go home at that point.
Fast forward to now, a year later. She has since moved to a very nice assisted living apartment where she has a number of friends. (Before the hospitalization she was living by herself.)
We have noticed a significant improvement in her health since moving in to assisted living. She has not changed medications or anything else. The once big change is that she is eating regular balanced meals. They are not what some would consider super healthy meals, but she is getting so much more nutrition than she was when she was cooking for herself. (It isn't too motivating to go to much trouble for that.) Also, she has meals in a dining room with friends; she probably eats more (though not excessively) just because of the social aspect of eating.
Anyway, we expected a steady decline in her health, especially after her week in the hospital with kidney and other issues. We are delighted to see that she is actually so much better than a year ago. Everything points to an improvement in her calorie and nutrition intake as the cause of her improvement. She can walk farther. She can remember more. I cannot discount that more social interaction is playing a part as well.
I thought I would pass along these observations; hopefully they will be helpful to someone else trying to improve general health of an older friend or relative.
~Mama to Many~