Reviewed by Kristen E. Holm, PhD, MPH

With chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may feel less able to do many of the tasks that you have always done for yourself. This can lead to a feeling that you're not "pulling your weight." People vary in the amount of support they need from time to time, and they vary in their ability to accept help. It's important to recognize that, even if it is only from your doctor, you do need help. Finding and accepting that help is an important part of caring for yourself. 

Take some time to think about the following questions and write down your answers:

  • Is there someone who has been trying to help that you've turned down?

  • Have you thanked those who have helped or are helping you? Can you think of a new way to say thanks?

  • What makes it hard for you to ask for or accept help from others?

  • Can you think of some other sources of support you haven't utilized? How about support groups? Extended family? Religious community?

Even though you may be the one with COPD, everyone who loves you and is involved in your life is also affected by your disease. They want to help you, and they want to help make your life easier because they care about you. By allowing the people around you to help, you will feel better because you have more choices, and they will feel better because you're doing better. It is very important to talk to your family and learn together the best ways to cope with your COPD.

Step 4: COPD and Your Family


Clinical Trials

For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.