5 Ways to Help a Friend With Pulmonary Fibrosis

If you have a friend or family member who has recently been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) or is living with the condition, you’re probably wondering what you can do to support them.

As our columnist Charleen Marshall explains, there will be times when your loved one doesn’t need any help. But there will also be times when they suffer setbacks, and that’s when your assistance will be most welcome.

If you want to help a friend with PF, Marshall suggests doing the following:

Help with Meals
Charleen talks about Meal Trains, where her colleagues would take turns preparing or buying meals which was organized through the website. But if you just want to work alone, you could prepare some casseroles or other dishes that can be frozen and reheated to make easy dinners for your loved one. Not having to worry about shopping and preparing dinner will be a weight off their shoulders, and they will have a nutritious meal to help build their strength up.

Pet Care
If your loved one or friend has a pet, it may be difficult to look after them if they’re experiencing a setback or going through recovery. Offering to walk their dog for a few evenings or fostering their pet will allow them to concentrate solely on their own health until they get better. If you can foster their pet or they are reluctant to part with them, then offering to come over and feed them and clean up after them will help immensely.

MORE: The realities of a pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis

Personal Care
This could cover anything from helping them wash and style their hair, to painting their fingernails or giving a pedicure. A little pampering goes a long way to making someone feel a bit better about themselves when they are recovering.

Cleaning
Taking a morning or afternoon out to help your friend or loved one clean will be greatly appreciated. When you’re ill, it can be almost impossible to keep on top of household chores, so even doing a few loads of laundry or sweeping the floor will be a huge help.

Connect
If you live too far away to offer practical help, then you can always offer emotional and moral support. Taking the time to call, Skype or email your friend or loved one to see how they are doing will give them an emotional pick-me-up and let them know that you care even if you can’t be there in person.

MORE: Four tips for taking care of caregivers

Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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