Can I pick peoples brains please - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Can I pick peoples brains please

I have a friend (78) who was diagnosed around 6 months ago with copd and yesterday I heard it is lung cancer and he has been given 6 months.

My question is he lives alone and is receiving little help. He had to call an ambulance the other night and the paramedics told him off and said he should have called 111 or his doctor first! I think that is outrageous.

Shouldn't have a palliative team around him now? How do I get this kickstarted for him please? His daughter is staying with him temporarily and I want to help her get this organised.

coughalot x

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24 Replies


I would speak to his GP about organising daily care,

From what I know from two of my neighbours , a gentleman slightly older at 83, recieved two daily visits, but as he had no relative his final time was at a care home. The second one who had terminal cancer also recieved two visits per day, but he also had family members.

in reply to stone-UK

Thanks stone I knew you would know! You are the oracle :) x

Hi Coughalot,

The team at the hospital should really have set up things for him in the form of arranging visits from GP's, nurses and any other help needed. As that clearly hasn't happened, then as Stone suggests the GP is the first port of call, followed by a visit from an occupational therapist in case they can provide him with any aids around the house. Also, contacting the McMillan Nurses or the Marie Curie people will provide him and his daughter with all the support, advice and help that they can give. They do an absolutely outstanding job and will do whatever is necessary, and patients can also go to day care in their hospices if needed or wanted. Usually, someone from there will do a home visit first and advise of the various options. The GP should be able to contact them, but your friend's daughter can do this herself too.

All the best to them, and hope things go easier for him.

hugs from Huggs xxx :)

in reply to huggs

Thanks Huggs I never thought of the MacMillan nurses. I know he needs help with lots of things including the practical ones like benefits and putting his affairs in order. He has got a young collie dog which he can't manage now but a neighbour is taking him on which is good. It's a lovely dog. x

huggs profile image
huggs in reply to

Hi coughalot,

Sadly, my friend died of ovarian cancer a year past November, and both the McMillan Nurses and the Marie Curie day centre at the local hospice ( on the mainland) were of the most help to her and her family, and, as I say will do anything they can, and have their fingers on the pulse of what help is available. For your friends sake, I would try and get his daughter to get this moving asap as it will be of such benefit to them both. They will help him with putting his affairs in order as well, or arrange the help for him to do it.

As I said, a visit from an occupational therapist is a must too, and maybe the SWD can organise other things as well.

Good luck,

hugs from Huggs xxx :)

in reply to huggs

Thanks Huggs and I am very sorry about your friend. I find the older I get the more my friends are going which is really sad. It makes me determined to live life in the present and not to worry too much about the future coz you never know what's going to happen do you? On a totally selfish note I always think - thank God it's not me. After all we all know it's not going to happen to us...... and there but for the grace of God etc. Sigh... xx

Hi Coughalot

I think I would contact social services who would arrange a visit to see what needs he has. I understand they will liaise with his medical team and arrange some help. BUT then it comes down to money who will pay for these visits? That will come later.... In the meantime I would suggest he puts an application in for attendance allowance which is paid to him so he can pay for help. Also who ever is caring for him may be able to claim carers allowance. Please forgive me if the names of these benefits have changed it has been a while since I helped others out on this.

But it could be a starting point???

Good luck you have a kind heart.

Take care

in reply to Sokrackers

Thank you Sokrackers. I used to work for the DWP so am aware of the benefits available. I do know if he has been given a terminal diagnosis of 6 months or less than he should be able to get the highest rate attendance allowance and it should be paid within 2/3 weeks under the 'Special Rules'.

I am going to see him either today or tomorrow and see what I can do to get it all started for him. Thanks again. xx

How awful Cough. I can't add to the suggestions as all bases are well covered. Just sending good wishes to your friend - and to you, its hard to know you are going to lose a friend. Very sad.

in reply to O2Trees

Thank you O2 that is very kind of you. x

The hospital that is treating him have a team just for this purpose, he should have been given the direct number of a nurse who he is able to call at any time, I am speaking from someone who has one of those nurses numbers, check with the cancer unit at the hospital in his area Fred x

in reply to holly17

Thanks Fred I will x

Please contact his doctor with the person permission they will be able to start everything for you with nurses and help in the home, every surgery has the nurses you need, I do hope this all gets sorted soon for your friend,

in reply to Lyn45

Thank you so do I. x

What a terrible thing for your friend, first to find he has lung cancer and then to be told off for calling an ambulance! What is this country coming too! You have had lots of great advice already but I would just like to send best wishes to your friend and to you and hope everything gets sorted very soon. Take care cough. xxxx

in reply to sassy59

Thank you sassy - I was shocked at that too. x

Dear Coughalot,

I had a similar situation some time ago could not get referrals etc I contacted the Roy Castle Cancer Lung Foundation in Liverpool Help Line 0333 323 7200 they have a network of Local Lung Cancer Support Nurses all over the country, they put me in contact with my local one, who swiftly got everything moving with all the support I needed quickly put in place, well worth a try.

They are a charity who only deal with all aspects of Lung Cancer, brilliant organisation!

Best Regards,


in reply to halsa

That's a great idea thanks Robert. Never thought of that. xx

Does the daughter have 'power of attorney' rights in case her father cannot make decisions regarding welfare and financial issues? Just a thought :)

in reply to James48

Don't think so as it's all too new to them. But I will bring that up thanks. x

Huggs has hit on the head with what is required. They should at the very start had the OH look at what can be down and then see what support services can help?

When my Mother was only given 6 weeks, in the beginning she was her own worse enemy by saying she could do things we knew she could not but was to proud to admit it!

Be Well

in reply to Offcut

Well that generation are very stoical aren't they Offcut? My parents were the same. x

Offcut profile image
Offcut in reply to

Afraid so but you have to admire them in a way

Just an update on this. I visited my friend and he looks awful - very thin and on constant oxygen and finding it very difficult to breathe. His daughter has sorted everything out for him from this week. Thanks for all your kind thoughts and advice. xx

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