Caregiver Support and COPD

Download our Caregiver Support and COPD WYNTK

Caregivers can be important to people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Caregivers may perform a variety of duties, including help with medication management and medical or nursing needs, often without any professional training. It is important that caregivers have the support they need in order to take care for their loved ones. We have listed recommendations from healthcare professionals to support caregivers in this role:

Develop a plan for care:

  • Prepare and participate in medical appointments with your loved one. For example, develop a list of questions for your healthcare provider together.
  • Work with your loved one and healthcare provider to develop a COPD Action Plan, a plan for managing the condition and dealing with episodes.
  • Maintain regular communication with healthcare professionals.
  • Create personal reminders on how to properly use medication and medical devices such as nebulizers, inhalers, oxygen equipment, etc.

Maintain important health information:

  • Maintain up to date medical history and medication lists for you and your loved one to bring to medical appointments; it may be useful to keep a medication list in your purse or wallet.
  • Create a central location for all legal and health documents accessible to you and family members.

Research available resources:

  • Become familiar with health resources in your area such as pulmonary rehabilitation centers, oxygen providers, home health companies, etc.
  • Familiarize yourself with any senior support services that may be available in your village/township such as transportation support, meals delivered to your home, etc.
  • Consider other supports: a patient advocate may be able to join your loved one at medical appointments; and a financial consultant may be able to support with money management for seniors.

Identify additional support:

  • Establish a back-up/secondary caregiver and provide him or her with all necessary health information.
  • Develop a healthcare power of attorney for you and your loved one.
  • Join a support group.
  • Remember to talk to family and friends.