British Lung Foundation
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Where do I start finding info about emphysema and how I can best care for my mum

My mum is 74 and a smoker for best part of 60 years. She had pneumonia 2 years ago and gone downhill since, diagnosed with moderate to severe emphysema. She is in hospital again now with acute attack ?? Her oxygen sats are about 87 - 91% on oxygen and sitting still. Where can I find more info, will she get any better and as her Carer, what can I do and what if any services can she expect when (hopefully) she gets home?

Thanks in advance

5 Replies

The obvious answer is to call the BLF helpline on Monday - 03000 030 555 - give them some details and they'll usually arrange a call back. 03 numbers are charged the same as 01 and 02 numbers.

They can have a chat with you and send you some info, including a DVD, in the post :)

Also contact NHS Smokefree - or call 0800 022 4 332 between 9 and 8 weekdays. I gave up with their help and a local support group they set up but I wouldn't try to force anyone to stop, it has to be their decison


Thank you Gordon, I will ring BLF tomorrow.

She hasn't had a ciggie since new year, but only cos she can't breathe. I don't think she wants one anymore but like you say, it has to be her choice to stop


BLF have trained staff and nurses on hand to talk to you. I don't know your situation as a carer, and it's not something for public view really, but it may be as well contacting the local council's social services team, often they have an adult contact team who can help with things for the home. I had an extra bannister fitted on the stairs, I'm not a council tenant.

If she's in hospital then they should not allow her to have any there. The hospital I worked at had a strict policy, no smoking anywhere in the grounds, never mind in the building.

Smokefree can also talk to you about tackling the problem, if it becomes one. I took part in a community session they set up as part of my work with the radio station, I stopped within a couple of months but it was controlled, sort of :)


Hello Poppin, I have only just joined this forum.

My mum is 72 and a severe COPD sufferer after decades of smoking like your mum. She was in hospital for a few months earlier part of last year and when discharged was assigned to an Impact Team, who visited the home and assessed her needs e.g. for grab rails and how she gets about the house, plus made arrangements to install a telephone "piper-line" system - this was financed by the local authority even though mum is not a council tennant. I addition, social services were assigned and she now has carers visit twice a day, even though she has a relative as a full time carer. Also the GP arranged for regular visits from a Community Matron to check her weight and diet and general health associated with COPD symptoms.

My mum no longer smokes. She was admitted to hospital again just before new year with a severe attack and has been moved to a local community hospital undergoing physio and respite. She has oxygen 24x7, but it sounds like your mum can breathe without oxygen, which is a plus sign.

Best wishes to you and your mum and hope she has the will and help to stop smoking. As others have stated the BLF has some excellent advice.


I cannot offer any advice sorry, but it seems there is lots of good advice here so I wish you well xxxxx


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