COPD caregivers need to care for themselves
Your help as a caregiver can be essential for someone with COPD. Yet caring for someone with COPD can take a toll on you both physically and emotionally unless you tend to your own needs, as well.
For example, don't forget to carve out some "me time." Ask a friend or relative for help. Or, contact a local senior center or your place of worship to find a volunteer to help out. Then, do something that gives you pleasure. Participate in a book club, exercise, and socialize with family and friends. Don't feel guilty—time away will help you return to responsibilities refreshed and reenergized. Explore below for a few more ideas.
Follow healthy habits of your own
Your well-being is critically important.
It's natural to want to give your all to the person you are caring for, but it's important to make sure you get enough sleep, try to get some exercise, and rest if you are sick or run down. And while you might be focused on getting someone else to the doctor, don't forget to keep your own medical appointments.
Be specific about what you need
If someone asks "What can I do?" tell them!
When people offer to help, don't just accept the offer: suggest specific things that they can do. What is it you need most? Some free time? Help with transportation? Be specific.
Don't think that you're being selfish. Truth is, the better you care for yourself, the more time, attention, and affection you can give to your loved one with COPD.
Try switching duties
Swap tasks to lighten your load.
If you've taken on some of the tasks your loved one used to do, such as cleaning the house or mowing the lawn, ask him or her to help you out with things like managing the bills or prepping vegetables before dinner. You'll get to lighten your load, and the other person may feel useful.
Get support from other caregivers
Sometimes it helps to hear from someone who knows.
There's comfort in knowing you're not alone and plenty of people have really valuable advice to share. Find out if there is a caregivers' support group in your area. Someone who has been in your shoes might be able to help you prepare for the journey ahead.