It is difficult to see the one you love struggle with their health. Caregiving can change a lot about a person and change how they view their life. We know that the stress of taking care of someone else each day can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips for a COPD caregiver.
Tip 1: Wait an hour
Pain can make people very irritable and angry. In patients with COPD, they may feel very bad and get angry at you for no reason. If you are caring for someone like this, you should keep patience. Give them an hour to cool down and sort out their mind. Patients often feel guilty afterward. Allow them to make mistake and calmly discuss how their action makes you feel later on. Remember, forgive and forget.
Tip 2: Make a list
Make a to-do list daily can help you set up your goals and keep track of each task. Note down which medication your patient needs to take and when. Note for any doctor appointment that day or if they need to prepare for the next one. Most importantly, keep an eye on your patient’s withdrawal symptoms if they had been smoking. Encourage them to join a rehab class and go with them.
Tip 3: Learn new things
You will accompany your loved one to many appointments. This is your opportunity to learn. Write down the questions you have for the health care team in a notebook. Leave a space to fill in their answers later on. It’s also good for remembering all these information since you might not remember all of them. Beside medications, ask for instruction on how to use tools and lifestyles for COPD patients.
Tip 4: Monitor flare-ups symptoms
COPD might have flare-ups when the symptoms get much worse. You should know the signs to watch out for flare-ups as well as ways to prevent them. In general, you should call the doctor when your loved one has:
- Excessive trouble breathing during everyday activities,
- Greater than usual coughing or coughing-related chest pain,
- Increased mucus production or change in appearance of mucus,
- Swelling in the hands or feet,
- Cramping of muscles,
- Tiredness or weakness,
- Trouble sleeping that is related to shortness of breath.
To understand you loved one and their needs, you need a tremendous amount of care, patience, and understanding. It’s a tough job to be a caregiver. However, there is no right or wrong way to caregiving. You just need to try different methods to see which one fits the best.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 24, 2017 | Last Modified: January 24, 2017
6 Important Tips for a COPD Caregiver. https://lunginstitute.com/blog/6-important-tips-for-a-copd-caregiver/. Accessed January 20, 2017.
COPD: A Caregiver’s Guide. http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/caregiver-guide. Accessed January 20, 2017.
Caring for a COPD Patient at Home. http://www.everydayhealth.com/copd/copd-caregiving.aspx. Accessed January 20, 2017.
FAQ for Caregivers. http://www.copdfoundation.org/Learn-More/For-Patients-Caregivers/FAQ-for-Caregivers.aspx . Accessed January 20, 2017.