How to Talk to Your Family About COPD
More than 15 million Americans are living with COPD, and it’s one of the most common causes of disability in older adults. However, just because it’s prevalent doesn’t mean that everyone understands this condition or how to support those who have it. If you have COPD, you deserve support and compassion from those closest to you, but sometimes that starts with educating your family about COPD. Many people, especially younger individuals, may not fully grasp what the condition is, your prognosis, or how it affects you on a daily basis.
If you use supplemental oxygen, this can be an easy way to strike up a conversation about your COPD, especially with children who are naturally curious. And if you have children of your own, perhaps as your caregivers, talking about your COPD is an essential part of this relationship. It may not be easy to discuss these things with everyone, and that’s okay. Just start slowly. Here are some tips for having these conversations:
1. Start objectively.
Instead of launching into your own personal story and talking about your struggles with COPD, it may help to begin from a purely objective, scientific point of view. You can share about the physiology of the condition, common treatment options, and how prevalent it is.
2. Advocate for your needs.
Depending on the severity of your COPD symptoms, you may need certain accommodations or medical equipment. It’s important to advocate for the things you need with your family and close friends so you don’t accidentally push yourself too far. This includes things like portable oxygen concentrators, mobility devices, inhalers, and other medication and lifestyle choices like getting enough rest and staying in the shade on hot days.
3. Be honest.
It can feel uncomfortable at times to be vulnerable, especially around our health challenges, but being upfront and advocating for your needs can pay off greatly over time. Be honest with your loved ones about how you feel, your current limitations, and when you need help.
Living with COPD doesn’t have to be lonely or scary. Reach out to Portable Oxygen Solutions today to learn more about how to talk to and educate your family about COPD and take the best care of yourself!
Please Call 1-800-958-0192 to speak to one of our friendly oxygen specialists.