A look at you and COPD
As you may have experienced, caring for someone with COPD is not easy. The challenge of meeting his or her everyday needs can leave you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted. It can take a physical and emotional toll on you over time if you don't get adequate support for yourself.
The positive news is, there are things you can do to make your life easier and more manageable, while you help your loved one.
- Doctors are important partners
- Giving yourself breaks is essential
- Keep going: This disease can be managed
- Take a moment to look at things from your loved one's perspective
What caregivers need to know about COPD
If you don't know where to start, try learning about the condition and how it progresses. The more you know about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both and what to expect over time, the better you may be able to care for someone who has it. This information will hopefully make you even more patient and empathetic as you help your loved one cope with the effects of the disease day to day.
By learning about symptoms and what causes them, you can gain a better feel for when the person you're caring for is having good days—or bad days—and when it's appropriate to call a healthcare provider. You can start with a look at COPD and its symptoms.
If COPD symptoms get worse
It's also important that you recognize what exacerbations are, why they occur, and how to help prevent them. Exacerbations are when symptoms are worse than usual. This can last for a few days or longer and often requires treatment with antibiotics, oral steroids, and, in some cases, hospitalization. Familiarizing yourself with available treatment options would also be helpful.