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British Lung Foundation
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I am a carer for my husband he has copd and type 2 diabetes. Can anyone give me any advice on how to help him please?

He has difficulty breathing when walking or any activity and has good and bad days. Some days he doesn't get up at all. It seems to me that his main problem is depression and anxiety as to what might happen when he tries to do anything and I don't know how to help him, he denies being depressed or anxious. At the moment he has no quality of life.

16 Replies

Getting out of breathe can be quite scary, see the gp or respiratory nurse about getting him into pulmunary rehab where they will teach him to excercise safetly.

The more he can manage the better he will feel, excercise can also help with depression.

Hope he is on the move soon.



I can heartily recommend obtaining a copy of the BLF dvd :) I've just finished watching it and it's great :)

You could also suggest that your hubby takes a look at the blogs and questions on here, he will then see that anxiet and depression do not help his condition and, as pooh said, exercise is very important to those of us who live with this condition. The more he exercises the better he will feel. Being out of breath is scary, but it is not DANGEROUS. No one dies from being breathless :)

If your hubby needs moral support then we are here to help, as are the BLF, on their Helpline. Would he be willing to talk to them ?

I wish you luck in motivating him to take control of his COPD rather than letting the COPD have control over him.



What is the BLF DVD?


It's a dvd on how best to cope with living with COPD and it was made on behalf of the British Lung Foundation (BLF) who will send it to you, on request, free of charge.



Thank you. Is there somewhere on the website to request it?


You can send an email request for the dvd (enquiries@blf-uk.org) or you can ring the BLF Helpline

03000 030 555 .


Thanks very much.


Pulmunary rehab sounds as if it would be a great help to your husband , you should be able to get refered to them , that will help give him more confidence and make his condition seem less scarey as they explain all about COPD and how to manage the condition, i found it a great help , I still get very bad days when my breathing is awful but dont find it such a worry . Hope you can soon get the help you need , do let us know how you get on. Su x


Its getting them motivated though isn't it. I have always been well motivated till I was diagnosed with copd and though I am doing most of what I should be doing I find it hard as I live alone so motivation is down to me. A friends husband was diagnosed before me and he refuses to take any meds or inhalers and she is worried sick. Maybe the first thing is to get the depression sorted as that can be debilitating. After he picks up a bit he might feel like doing a bit more, Hope it goes ok for you both. Above all Mistykim look after yourself because if you don't you won't be much help to your hubby. Take care.


Thank you everyone for your advice I will take it all on board and try and motivate him more. I have tried not to nag him as he was only diagnosed in February and wanted to give him time to accept it, but now I think I need to be a bit firmer. Thankyou all again I wil keep you posted.


I'm afraid I didn't get depressed when I was diagnosed. I just got annoyed with myself ! Exercise is the way forward. The more you do the more you can find you can do. Good luck with hubby !


I have copd & diabetes 2 also, I am just getting my head round this double whammy, I don't know how young you both are but why not try going to a rehab group together show him that he is not alone, when was the last time you both had a good hoilday, get him away from the same old routine get him out of the house, because home can become a jail.


I am another who has both COPD and Type 2 Diabetes. I am on insulin with my diabetes and at a moderate level for COPD.

I have managed to get myself on to PR and this helps both problems. In addition to helping with breathing the exercise helps to reduce blood sugar levels, just try it you will be amazed at the difference. Its like taking on the enemy and winning!!




Thanks very much to all of you it's nice to know someone understands.



You can always phone the BLF Helpline for advice on 03000 030 555 (Mon - Fri, 10am - 6pm)

The BLF also have a great booklet 'looking after someone with lung disease'

To download a copy, go to :


Or to order a paper copy, go to :


We wish you all the best,

BLF family, friends and carers


Hi Mistykim

i ama sorry to read of the problems you are both having at the moment. COPD and other chronic conditions can be very difficult to manage and it is not uncommon to feel depressed and anxious - we have very good booklets on these subjects we can send you free of charge. Generally it is going to be better if he can get out of bed - being in bed will not help his COPD and could make things worse - that being said it is very easy for me to say that!

Is there anyone else - a friend, family member who can talk to him? It may also be useful to chat with his GP or practice nurse to see if they can help. Pulmonary Rehab could be good for him but, as has already been suggested the depression will need to be addressed before any exercise. Pul Rehab is great, not just for the exercise but for the social support aspect aswell.

Helen our counsellor can offer support to you and to your husband - to speak to any of us please call 0300 030 555.

Best Wishes



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