The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Be There for your Loved Ones who have COPD
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to help a loved one who has been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While you might feel helpless, that doesn’t mean you can’t be helpful. There are several things that you can do to help support your loved one as they battle this progressive disease.
Help them quit smoking. First and foremost, when someone has been diagnosed with COPD they need to quit smoking. Help them by encouraging them to quit, and don’t smoke around them if you are a smoker yourself. In addition to being a trigger for the other person, secondhand smoke can be extremely damaging for those who already suffer from lung disease.
Know what to do during flare ups. When someone with COPD is having a breathing emergency, you need to know what to do so you can take immediate action. Know where to find emergency inhalers, and keep a list of emergency phone numbers handy in your phone.
Improve your indoor air. Improve indoor air quality by changing air filters regularly and keeping windows closed during times of high pollutants and allergy season. You might consider purchasing an air purifier and/or indoor air quality meter.
Encourage exercise. It’s imperative for those with COPD to exercise to help keep their lung function up. Exercising is a tough habit to develop even for those without breathing problems, so if your loved one doesn’t already exercise regularly, providing extra motivation and support can help keep them on track. Offer to be a workout or walking buddy.
Offer emotional support. A lot of people don’t like to talk about the feelings of anxiety and depression that come along with being diagnosed with an incurable disease. Try to be a shoulder to lean on and encourage your loved one to open up about the feelings that he or she might be experiencing. You might offer to try a meditation or yoga class together, or even encourage them to get professional counseling if the situation calls for it.
Make their living space COPD-friendly. Things that healthy people take for granted can be daunting tasks for those with COPD. Making small changes in the COPD sufferer’s household can make a huge positive impact on their day-to-day life. Put everyday kitchen utensils in spots that are easy to reach, add handrails in the shower, help them prepare meals ahead of time and do laundry.
Sometimes lending a helping hand can ease the burden of a loved one who might feel they’re facing this disease alone. The number one thing that you can do for a person who has been diagnosed with COPD is to let them know that you will be there to share the burden with them, and that they are not alone.
The Lung Institute has helped many people who have been diagnosed with progressive lung diseases like COPD. In fact, we recently treated our 1000th patient, Marvin S. of Lakeland, Florida. If you or your loved one suffers from COPD or another lung disease, the Lung Institute might be able to help using stem cell therapy. Contact one of our patient coordinators today at (800) 729-3065.