Caring for the Caregiver: More Resources for Your Friends and Loved Ones

Posted on June 17, 2024   |   

This post was authored by Kristen Szymonik, BS, RRT, AE-C

When you think of a caregiver, who do you picture? Are you thinking about a person pushing someone in a wheelchair or taking care of a person in a bed at home? While these pictures may pop into our minds when we think about caregiving, they are actually missing some folks! A caregiver can be anyone: a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father, friend, relative, neighbor, or partner. A caregiver is anyone who loves and cares about you.

Health care teams tend to focus on the person who is living with COPD and often forget about the caregivers in that person's life. Caregivers have one of the hardest and most important jobs—supporting people with chronic health conditions. So why are their needs so often overlooked? The COPD Foundation offers resources just for the caregivers in your life. These are the people who care deeply about your health and well-being, and they should be supported and celebrated!

There are many helpful resources available for caregivers. Village Medical and the COPD Foundation recently collaborated to produce a new COPD Caregiver Packet, which features tips for you and your caregivers. Another helpful resource is the COPD Caregivers Toolkit, created by Respiratory Health Association, that offers important information on how caregivers can care for both themselves and someone with COPD.

The COPD Foundation is committed to offering more resources for caregivers in the future. Keep watching our social media and Downloads Library for more resources as they become available.

Think about the people who care about you. What is their role in your journey with COPD? How do they support you? Maybe you have a friend who sits with you and listens to you talk about your experiences. Maybe you have a family member or friend who drives you to medical appointments or shopping trips. Maybe you have a neighbor who stops by to ask how you're feeling today. All of these people are caregivers. They need care, too. And they are all important!

Are you a caregiver for someone with COPD or other chronic health conditions? What tips can you share with our community?


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  • Yes, I am a semi retired Health Educator/Caregiver. I always think of Caregivers with respect and pride for all that many of them offer professionally or privately, paid or unpaid for their services. Some caregivers provide many hours of unpaid support/services to family members and others including strangers at times. A caregiver in many instances derive the joy of being present and able to provide support/services to the recipient(s) at times just for listening and assuring them that they're not alone, including some as mentioned in the article.
    In the process, I agree with Kristen that Caregivers often neglect or overlook their own needs in many instances and it is unintentionally too. I was the lead Caregiver for both of my parents in my family and their providers. Both of my parents had multiple chronic conditions (comorbidities), my father had COPD which was only diagnosed later. After his diagnosis, I also learnt about COPDF and it became one of my primary resources until now. In some instances, Caregivers need(s) are an unintentional neglect deserving our support and the available resources highlighted in the article.