Relationships and asking for the help you need (COPD)

5) Family and friends

Couple reading
Even those close to you may not appreciate how your COPD is affecting you physically, emotionally and socially.

Everyone leads a busy life and sometimes family and friends don’t offer help because they don’t know you need it or they don’t know how to help.

Talking about what help you need or what you are worried about can give family and friends a better understanding of how they could help when you need them.

Some family and friends may under estimate how your COPD is affecting you now, especially if you have been diagnosed some time ago and your condition has changed over time. They may not realise your COPD is a long term condition when you have periods of feeling well followed by a flare up or exacerbation. For example if family are relying on you to pick up grandchildren or baby sit while they are at work they might not know when this is getting more difficult for you to cope with.

Some families can be over protective and hardly let you do things you are more than capable of or take over your life without realising what you can do yourself.

Communication with family and friends is as important as the communication you have with health and social care teams. Think about how to discuss your worries and concerns with them.