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Life With COPD

Chronic Lung Disease: Notes for Family and Friends

Being close to someone with chronic lung disease will likely mean some changes in your life. As your loved one copes with chronic lung disease, you may be asked to be a helper, caregiver, or source of support.

Four people playing dominos.

Doing the Following May Help

  • Learn as much as you can about chronic lung disease. This will help you know what to expect. It will also show you ways that you can help.

  • Talk to your loved one’s healthcare team. Ask any questions you have. Make sure you understand your role in treatment.

  • Spend time with your loved one. Take time to talk and to do things you both enjoy.

  • Join a local support group.

Tips for Caregivers

  • Keep in mind that you can’t take good care of someone else if you don’t take care of yourself, too. Take breaks when you need them. Considering your own needs is not selfish, it’s vital.

  • You may want to do things for your loved one to help save time. But let your loved one do some things for him- or herself. This can help your loved one feel involved and independent. Encourage your loved one to stick with old hobbies or try new ones. And ask friends to visit if your loved one agrees.

  • Be on the look out for signs of depression in your loved one. These include trouble sleeping; loss of interest in activities, food, or people; and talk about feeling hopeless or very sad. If you notice these signs, tell your loved one’s doctor.

  • Watch for depression in yourself. If you feel sad, guilty, tired, hopeless, or helpless most of the time, talk to your doctor. Depression can and should be treated.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 1/15/2007
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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