How can I help my mum?

Hi I new to the group and looking for a bit of advice on how I can help my mum. After being short of breath and only rarely leaving the house for about 3 years I managed to get her to see a doctor (home visit about a year ago. She has been prescribed 3 inhalers (a blue one, a purple one and an round green one) but she doesn't seem any better and still rarely leaves the house. I can't work out whether it is the COPD or depression/anxiety that keeps her in. Any suggestions on how to help her? - She really doesn't seem to want to help herself.

21 Replies

  • Cooklet, I am really sorry to hear about your Mum. It will be a lot to do with depression + also the COPD. Difficult situation. I am wondering whether you could visit your Mum's GP to voice your worries. If she is reluctant to leave the house, it might be an idea if he could do a house visit, with her consent. You could also contact the BLF nurse. I will have to look for the or maybe someone will. I think your Mum will need further treatment and tests for the COPD but she needs counselling for her anxiety. I do hope that you get help and your mum improves - they are precious.

  • Your mum should really have a consultant see her, there are tests to complete a GP just cannot do. Please ask for her to be referred.

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  • Hi Cooklet, you have had some good advise. It is easy to slip into not going out, I have been there. Have a talk with your Doctor. My Son organised things I just couldn't wriggle out off. Did the trick. Nothing major just little things.

  • Hi Can you tell me what kind of things? I think I've tried everything! She didn't even make it to the hospital or my house after I had my little boy - her first grandchild :(

  • That's so sad Cooklet. You must feel quite let down. Anyone would.

    Sounds she must be deeply depressed and needs professional help. She's missed the joy of her daughter becoming a mummy as well as her grandson. I'm so sorry for you xxx

    Give the helpline a ring and see what they advise. 03000 030 555

    Good luck

  • Oh cooklet if she didn't make it to those not sure the things my son organised would help. Have you any family members who could help you?

  • There is only my brother and he isn't great at this kind of thing. She has a half sister that she sees every couple of months and has alienated all her friends as she is so embarrassed by the state of herself now (she used to be incredibly fit, active and independent). She is very isolated, I see her about 3 times a week with my little boy but I'm not sure I'm the best person to help her

  • how old is your mother?

  • she's 66

  • What a lovely son you have Suzy :)

  • He is peeg 99.9% of the time. Least said about the balance. No seriously he is. Takes after my Mum.

  • Depression/anxiety are big enemies of copd sufferers. The fear of a breathless attack while you are outside the safety zone of your own home are very real, so going out can be almost terrifying. Her GP can give her pills that help control the anxiety.

    Just a thought, does she have to go up steps or something similar to get back into her home? something as simple as this can really play on the mind, and even before you go out you are almost panicking about getting back into the house. See if you can get her to tell you what it is that worries her so much , you might be able to take away some of the fears. Stupid things can cause it and simple solutions can cure it.

    It does sound like a doctors needs to reassess her. In three years things change and a better inhaler may be available. Phone and speak to the specialist nurse at your GP practice, they are normally very knowledgeable and sympathetic so it's a good place to start.

  • Our GP told her (last year) that they no longer prescribe for anxiety, but she could refer my mum to support group/counselling once the COPD was under control but my mum won't see the doctor again now. I guess what I really need to do is help get my mum to a place mentally where she will accept the help that's out there but I'm not sure how to do that. She is a very difficult to deal with and often gets upset or angry if I try and talk to her about all this.

  • You sound like you have a some real problems, I found hypnosis helped me, but it sounds like you have no chance of that. It is a difficult situation when the sufferer refuses help.

    I had no problem getting calming down pills ( diazepam) from my GP in fact he suggested them. They do help, it's a catch 22 situation though, you can't have the pills until she calms down and she can't calm down without the pills. You have to talk to someone to get some help or you are going to get ill worrying about her. Lots of suggestions above of people to talk to. Once you get started it does get easier.

    Good Luck. There is always someone one here to talk to.

  • Hi cooklet, I don't understand why your mum's GP cannot prescribe anything for her anxiety, as many on here have just such a prescription and I was offered one too, though declined it. Has your mum been to a pulmonary rehab group? If not, that could be the way forward for her. It makes a huge difference in most people's lives. Good luck.

  • Thanks everyone for your responses. My mum has seen the COPD nurse and a physio fairly regularly at home since the diagnosis. My mum is terrified of and refuses to go to hospital, and this is the reason she is so reluctant to see the GP- she is convinced they will hospitalise her. I'm starting to wonder whether she is lying to me, she tells me the only other treatment is long term antibiotics and that they are reluctant to put people on them.

  • Good advice on here again. Perhaps you could organise the odd trip out for lunch or shopping etc just to break the circle of Too puffed to do anything and getting unfit sitting about which makes you get puffed out when you do anything!

    Also find out if there is a Breathe Easy Group in your area where she can meet people with the same problems as her....

    Very best wishes in what you are doing for Mum x

  • Hi cooklet, welcome . Understand your concerns about your mum. Some of the pulmonary rehab groups supply transport for people like your mum but she needs doctor referral for that. You can attend local breathe easy groups with your mum if she is concerned about going alone or you can go to get help and advice. After such a long time it may be hard to change your mums lifestyle. I recall my late father -in - law becoming house bound after a fall because he feared ending up in an embarrassing position when out on his own. They used to take him to a day center twice a week more for our benefit than his sad to say. Good luck in your efforts to help improve your Mum's social life.

  • Hi Cooklet I know a little of how your Mom maybe feeling, I don't like going to places I don't know in case there are many stairs, Christmas day at my sons I really struggled with the stairs, a full stomach and sented candles, x

  • My mom had COPD and loved to go out but does your mom think the inhalers don't work and it's this that stops her going out, it can take time to get to grips with inhalers I hope all goes well and your mom goes on ok

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