Your loved one's healthcare team may have the medical background about pulmonary fibrosis and its management, but you know how they're affected on a day-to-day basis.
Making changes to the home environment can help your loved one take care of their lungs. It’s important for them to stay away from any allergens or irritants. Make sure to remove all aerosol products from the home as well as strongly scented cleaning or household products. It will also be beneficial for them to avoid any second-hand cigarette smoke.
It’s important to encourage your loved one to make lifestyle changes and stick with them, as they will help them manage their symptoms better.
Remind them that smoking is one of the biggest influences on their lung health.
Quitting smoking can be very difficult for your loved one living with pulmonary fibrosis. Let them know that they should celebrate their victories by focusing on their success, rather than the difficulties associated with staying smoke-free. If they are struggling with this, discuss whether they’d find it helpful to join a support group or find a network online.
Encourage them to talk about how they feel.
Talking something through and knowing that someone is there to listen and understand can help your loved one feel much better and give them a new perspective on what they’re experiencing.
Remind them to do the things that make them happy.
Find time to do things they enjoy, whether it’s cooking, seeing friends or listening to music. Taking up a new hobby can also help boost confidence and occupy their mind.
Motivate them to do physical activity.
Staying active can help reduce any feelings of depression and anxiety and boost self-confidence. Light activities like gardening or gentle walking are a good place to start if you think they’re not used to doing a lot of physical activity.
Remind them of the importance of a balanced diet and good night’s rest.
Eating healthily can help both their physical and mental health. Eating a balanced diet at regular mealtimes will help your loved one feel healthier and support a positive mindset. Remind your loved one that trouble sleeping can have an impact on their mental well-being. If they find they are having trouble sleeping, encourage them to speak to their healthcare team about it.
You can help your loved one make small changes that can have a big impact on their well-being.