British Lung Foundation
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Helping family member live with COPD

My mother was diagnosed with COPD last year. We noticed her breathing was becoming difficult and she was unable yo sleep at night as she was up coughing at all hours of the night. Her condition is up and down and the doctors dont really help. She was told that she did not need to see her specialist anymore but as a family we knew she needed to see someone. As a family, we dont know how to help her or how to keep her confortable. It can be stressful and difficult as she refuses help when she needs it. Can anyone help provide inofrmation on how to support her cope please?

4 Replies

Hello and welcome to this site! I am sure you will find lots of help here. I care for my husband who has severe COPD and know how difficult it is to watch someone you love struggle.

The very first thing I would recommend is to telephone the BLF helpline (click on the red balloon) - they have lots of leaflets etc. with very helpful information. They can also advise what your mother should be expecting and what care she should be receiving. We found that my husband was given the diagnosis and left with it - it sounds as if the same has happened to your Mum. I researched and found that there was a specialist respiratory team in our area but had to be referred by our own GP. We were and that was really helpful. The team run a pulmonary rehab course which is consists of monitored exercise followed by an hour of really useful information about COPD. I think it saved my husbands life! It seems though it is something you have to ask for rather than are offered in some areas.

My husband was offered a specialist but told as he was coping at home there was no need so has never seen one - actually that suits him so I have not pushed it and as I know we have the respiratory team on hand dont feel that we need to. I dont know how your Mum would feel about this - but I wrote to our surgery so that the doctors/nurses have permission to speak to me about my husbands illness and this has been very useful.

One of the problems I have found is that because this is a chronic long term condition the doctors tend to let you get on with it! There are lots of medication available to help your Mum - she may need other inhalers. I am sure you will get lots of useful advise. Take good care, TAD xx PS your Mum is very lucky to have you!



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The British Lung Foundation is great at sorting family problems caused by lung conditions write or email them explain your coarse and what you would like to see being done perhaps they may have a group in the area where you live these groups are an absolute lifeline.


Hi Natashajayne1990, Welcome to the site. I can see from replys that you have had some good advice on who to contact. It's good to have family support. I refuse help still when i am doing some jobs, in your mind you have all ways been able to do it, so you automatically go to do it again. We all eventually find our limits and your mom will too. I also find that COPD is like a yoyo, one minuet your up and feel like you could take on the world, next your down. I'm sure you will get some help from the contacts the other members have suggested. Take care nannyb xxx

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