Eating & hobbies: Hi, My Mum has end... - British Lung Foun...

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Eating & hobbies



My Mum has end stage COPD. She is experiencing every emotion & I just want to be there for her.

There are 2 things I’d really appreciate some ideas about....

1. Eating - she is struggling to keep weight on. Are there any suggested diet tips that might help her?

2. She is super frustrated as had always been an active & physical lady. She can’t participate in many of her hobbies anymore and this adds to her depression. Does anyhsve Amy suggestions of hobbies / things she can do so she doesn’t feel useless (her words not mine).

Lastly......where can I direct my Dad for support? He is her primary carer and the strain is showing.

Thanks in advance everyone x

13 Replies

The big problem with eating is that the act of chewing can make her breathless too. I use and swear by a "slow cooker" the food falls apart it is that tender.

I will leave hobby suggestions for the girls on here to answer.

Weight loss and lack of appetite are common with severe copd.perhaps a referral via the g.p to her community dietician for supplementary build up food drinks such as Foodlink complete which i can heartily recommend would help in weight maintenance and it is also packed with nutrients and vitamins and cheaper than the likes of Fortisip so it is more appealing for the gp to wishes Ski's and Scruffs x

How wonderful you are to be so supportive of mum and dad. I suppose some obvious activities are jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, suduko etc. sewing, knitting or maybe a Playstation or similar. Your mum could play some board games with others too if she felt up to that. I find music very helpful and it gets me through darker days.

Thinking of you all. Xxxxx

I'm sorry to hear things are bad with your mum , I'm afraid I can't offer much advice I do know the feeling of uselessness I don't have much energy either and it's so frustrating when all you can do do is lay in bed when you want to be doing things even housework in your mind you can do it but your body just says NO . And you hear neighbours having bbq and everyone enjoying the good weather it can all just really get to you. Tell your mum she's not alone in the way she feels I often say to my hubby that I'm just useless and just want my life back but know that won't happen. I couldn't eat for 4 days due to being so weak and when I do eat I can only manage small amounts. I suppose we all on here have a lot in common and that's why we joined this group, I'm sorry I can't give your mum any great advice I just thought I'd share I feel the same way a lot of the time. I'm really happy for your mum she has you and can talk to you it's alwa good to have someone there to listen to your feelings all the very best of luck to the whole family 💖


Eating is a massive problem for my husband too so my tips are

On prescription: Procal protein shots which are small and easy to take. also Fortisip, Calshake and Fresubin. Various flavours so find ones she likes

Add cream and butter to dishes e.g. Cream in Breakfast cereal, rice pudding, tea, coffee. Butter and cream in Mashed potato, scrambled eggs,

My husband likes avocado pear, which is very healthy and calorific, so I chop a whole one up with olive oil, salt pepper etc

Pasta and noodles a bit over cooked are soft and easy to eat with meat or vegetarian sauce.

Chicken soup made by boiling chicken with bones is very nutritious as is beef soup made by boiling beef ( with bones even better).

Basically I keep a stock of things he likes to tempt him like Henz tomato soup, Heinz beans, Snickers and Mars bars, fruit gums, various beers.

A glass of wine, brandy or sherry is good too if she likes it.

I work on the premise that a bit of what you fancy does you good!

I know it's not easy and there are times when I feel like tearing my hair out with frustration.

Best wishes to you and your mum and dad


Perhaps rather than having a main meal it may be better for mum to ‘graze’. Perhaps put extra things in foods, butter and milk in potatoes, or even cheese. Make fortified milk (add powdered milk) to normal milk, milk puddings, etc. Lots of snacks during the day, fruit smoothies, ice creams made with clotted creams, trifles etc, snacks of dried fruit and nuts. Build up drinks. Ask the GP for a referral to a nutritionist.

Could you not help mum out onto a lounger in the shade so as if needs be she can sleep or nap when family are in the garden enjoying a bbq, perhaps instead of the usual burgers mum could have bbq fish which is high on oils (omega 3) like mackerel or salmon, skinless sausages are less problematic to chew and could be wrapped in tin foil when cooked.

If your mother likes gardening perhaps raised beds or she could do the first stages of growing seedlings and potting on. Perhaps crafts like knitting, sewing, card making for either herself, family or charity. Is she computer literate? Could she not join some online course or chats etc.

I hope some of this helps, all the best

Well done you for helping your mum. Last year I started sketching and then watercolour them, cheap enough to try and i really enjoy it now. If she has a tablet youtube have sketching idea. Some days I just watch the videos of other people painting. Jane

I sometimes like the audible books .. you can download some for free .. I find with my copd i pick at foods .. I’d be sick if a full meal were put down in front of me I just couldn’t cope with that right now .. keep them small to if my stomach is bloated my diaphragm expands hence my breathing .. hope all goes ok .. xx

Hi I'm in exactly the same situation as you but presently it's as though a miracle has happened with this new drug inhaler called Trimbow. My dad is at end stage and receiving palliative care they told him February he hadn't got long left and I think it obviously affects him but feeling anxious is the norm with COPD. He dropped as low as about 7 stone 9 but we managed to get him up to 8 stone where he stayed for weeks. He was prescribed pro-cal drinks and a cheaper version of complan chicken soups and he had Mr Kiplings puddings as were high in calories so maybe ask for these. He lost his appetite and even struggled with drinks. My mum who's 85 is the carer and my dad worries she's doing too much. It's hard as I live 2 hours away to try and help her as she wants to remain independent. My dad too feels useless he used to vac up and wash up but now maybe as he is feeling better he may do these but on top of the COPD he is partially sighted so has another struggle to get over. Does your mum like knitting, jigsaws, listening to music or audio books, making crafts like birthday cards? Somethings probably different to what she's used to but easy activities or can she get out with portable oxygen to a ladies group near to her. I think company is good for anyone. Apart from carers coming in I don't know to any support really available- it's heartbreaking as my mum says its like being on her own and prior to dad using this Trimbow he said he didn't want to be here anymore so I know what you're going through- anything you need to ask anytime please do x

I believe some hospitals need little tiny knitted clothes for premature babies. If your mum is able to knit, making some of these would be a very useful thing to do. Visit for more info.

Hello, it's a sad time for you, I know because I lost my lovely Mum last year. When she was unable to eat we brought "Complan' which is a nutrition filled drink. You can get at the Chemist. Also, Fruit jellies and trifle, as she had a Sweet tooth. My Aunt did Crosswords and Puzzles with Mum, reading out the questions. But, I found she most enjoyed reminiscing. So we,d chat about the Happy holidays we went on, her Childhood, the Pets we had, our favourite black n white Films, Songs, etc. I found I really enjoyed our last Week's together even though they where Sad. I hope you find help for your Dad. We didn't need it as we are a family of Girls and could support each other. Best regards 😊🌻✌️

Couldn’t cope without my tablet. Spend a lot of time playing daft games and doing word games. Passes the time. Takes me to places I have never been and helps to keep in touch through this site and Facebook among others

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