Support for family and friends

Long term conditions: Support for family

You can support your friend or family member to live well with COPD, by encouraging them to take gentle exercise, eat right and take their medication as directed.  

People with COPD can suffer from anxiety and depression. If your friend or relative is showing any of the following symptoms, they may have anxiety and/or depression. 

  • Low mood
  • Irritability
  • Having trouble sleeping (not related to breathlessness)
  • Being overly emotional, ie crying for no reason
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Worried all the time
  • Loss of interest in activities and pleasures they would normally enjoy.

You can help them by talking to them about how they feel and what they are worried about. You can also speak to the COPD team, by calling the Single Point of Access team on 020 8836 8622, or their GP, about your concerns.

If they live in Greenwich, you can suggest they call the Greenwich Time to Talk service to see if their Long Term Conditions course is right for them.

It is important that your loved one continues to do things for themselves as this will help them to remain active. It is important to talk about your worries together and continue to do the things you both enjoy.

COPD can sometimes be the reason that people die. There is information and advice that can help you support them in end of life care.

Locally a good source of information is the Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice.

There is also information on the British Lung Foundation website.