Feelings of helplessness, fear, and despair often come along with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diagnosis. People with this disease need to feel supported by their loved ones, and need to feel that they are not fighting this condition alone. Especially as the disease develops, and the symptoms worsen, they have a greater need for support. So how could you help a loved one suffering from COPD? How can you make a difference in their life?
Here is what you can do:
- Eliminate bad habits: Helping them kick their bad habits is very important. If they are smoking, help them quit. Discuss with them how smoking can harm their health. You could also ask a specialist to explain them the drawback of smoking in their condition and health in general. You can help them to maintain a generally healthy lifestyle and a healthier diet, which could be of significant help.
- Go for a walk: Although physical activity can be difficult for people with COPD, it can benefit them in many different ways. Encourage them to exercise, or even join them for an outdoor walk. The best types of exercises for this condition are low intensity exercises.
- Be understanding: Being patient is a requirement for every caregiver or loved one. People with COPD may require more time to do certain things. They may walk slower than you, they may be unable to perform a simple daily task, and they can get tired or exhausted much faster than you do. Offer them help and be patient. Try not to get upset or angry at them. Always remember that this condition is not something they chose.
- Help them organize their home: Help them arrange their house in a manner that makes them feel more comfortable and allows them to move around easily. Make a schedule for them and arrange chores such as cooking, cleaning, and other tasks. For example, you can arrange their kitchen in such a way that they have everything they need for cooking around them. Place the pans and all cooking instruments at a close reach. Find different assistive devices that can help ease their life at home.
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