A focus on the interests and needs of the family of the person with COPD, in particular adult children of people with COPD.
Person symbolizes freedom from COPD
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Editorial and Contents: Introducing Family Matters

COPD TODAY: Family Matters Editorial & TOC | 1-Collaboration | 2-FAQ | 3-Family Letter | 4-Resources | Courage and Information: COPD book | COPD TODAY | Editorial Board |

Family members can take on a constructive role and form new, meaningful relationships with their parent, spouse, or partner who has COPD. You can help your loved one with COPD to achieve a better quality of life.

Does your spouse or parent have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)? COPD is a very common condition—ranking fourth in deaths in the United States. Most people whose COPD has been diagnosed are in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. The physical and emotional impact of the disease tends to limit and restrict their activities. Unless people with COPD receive optimal treatment, their quality of life will deteriorate as the disease progresses. Most people with COPD don't know just how much can be done to improve their health and well-being. And unfortunately, you may not be able to assume that your loved one is receiving the best possible treatment.

Some experts have noted that the health care system assumes that the families of people with chronic disease will provide much of the care—without compensation—and we might add, without guidance or support! Healthy Resources offers essential information and guidance to support your efforts. Therefore, we are using the Internet to reach out to you, their families—their children who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, as well as to the spouse or partner.

There are many ways for the adult child or other family members of the person with COPD to take on a constructive role. As a concerned family member you need:

  1. valid information about COPD for yourself
  2. valid information to share with the person with COPD
  3. support in the use of information and tools for improving communication and creating or re-creating a family structure
  4. support for you in managing the stress and burden of being a caregiver

The principle of optimal care for the person with COPD is to learn how to control the disease through daily self-management following a comprehensive treatment plan and ongoing collaboration with the doctor.

Doctors want their patients to be compliant: to follow their medical orders. But effective treatment requires that the person with COPD adhere to a comprehensive treatment plan, and the chances for success will be improved by the collaboration of the person with COPD with their family and spouse or partner.

In this issue of COPD TODAY: Family Matters is a two-part article written by Richard Knowles, Ph.D. and Brian Tiep, MD.—Collaboration for Health. and Answers to Your Questions. Richard Knowles is a psychologist with extensive clinical experience helping individuals and families deal with chronic diseases, especially COPD. Brian Tiep is a leader in bringing the principles of rehabilitation medicine to people with COPD. They are both affiliated with the Pulmonary Care Continuum in Monrovia California. Resources includes links and references for additional information. COPD's impact on the family can be turned from destructive to constructive when people are able to communicate and share about their feelings as well as practical matters. Speaking on behalf of people with COPD is Jo-Von Tucker, whose open letter—Let's Make the Most of Our Time in an Imperfect World—can serve to open a family dialogue.

New Technology Publishing (which presents Healthy Resources) is dedicated to enabling people with COPD, their families, and their doctors to collaborate effectively. To participate in this collaboration, you need to begin with valid, authoritative information. We have published a book, Courage and Information, addressed to the person with COPD, their families, and their doctors. It combines the experience and insights of two medical clinicians with the hard-won experience and courage of a COPD patient. It is designed to get you started on a collaborative process for health.

I hope you find this issue helpful.

Jerry Halberstadt


COPD TODAY: (Second Issue, April 2001)
Introducing Family Matters

You can help your spouse or parent with COPD to receive the best possible treatment and to achieve a better quality of life.

COPD TODAY: Family Matters Editorial & TOC | 1-Collaboration | 2-FAQ | 3-Family Letter | 4-Resources | Courage and Information: COPD book | COPD TODAY | Editorial Board |

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