The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Are you looking for Lung Disease Support Groups in Pittsburgh? A diagnosis of a chronic lung disease does not constitute a death sentence, but it can certainly feel difficult to stay optimistic. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Not only do you have friends, family members and caregivers, in a support group you will also have a group of new friends going through the same challenges.
The Benefit of Support Groups
A support group is a safe place where members:
- Can learn about all aspects of living with pulmonary disease.
- Pay nothing and don’t need a physician’s order.
- Commit less time than what would be required by a pulmonary rehabilitation program‑‑especially valuable to people who do not have pulmonary rehab in their area.
- Can encourage friends and family members to actively participate.
- Can gather on an informal basis. For those who have been isolated for a long time or feel hesitant to get involved in a group situation, a support group is a good start. They can simply show up and listen, with no pressure to interact at all if they don’t want to.
- Can cough, or wear their oxygen without feeling self-conscious about themselves or their condition.
Here are some support group options in Pennsylvania:
Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases
The Simmons Center offers patients and their families participation in support groups, regional educational events and other outreach activities designed to improve the ability of patients and their caregivers to cope with the daily realities managing lung disease symptoms.
Better Breathers Club
The Better Breathers club is a resource provided by the American Lung Association and makes events and meetings available in several states across America. These clubs are open to anyone dealing with shortness of breath or other breathing challenges, including patients with lung disease. In Pittsburgh, call Chrissy Heckman at (412) 563-6500 for more information.
Freedom from Smoking Classes
Also sponsored by the American Lung Association, smoking cessation courses are available for those committed to transitioning to a healthier, smoke-free life. With smoking being a leading cause of lung disease, quitting now could make all the difference in quality and length of life. Community Care (www.ccbh.com) offers local Pittsburgh tobacco cessation resources, several of which allow for a quick trip to and from the Lung Institute.
Receiving a diagnosis of lung disease, or seeing a loved one diagnosed is hard enough without enduring it in isolation. Support groups can be excellent sources of information about a diagnosis. They can be valuable resources for learning more about one’s body, one’s diagnosis, and about treatments that work. If you or a loved one is ready to breathe easier, contact us or call us at (800) 729-3065 to speak with a patient care coordinator who is ready to help you.