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Caring for someone with a lung condition

Making difficult decisions

As you care for someone, there will be points when you’re faced with particularly difficult or emotional decisions. Thinking about things in advance and talking to the person you care for can help to keep calm when it comes to the crunch.

You may want to think about a lasting power of attorney covering health and welfare.

If the person you care for nominates you, you will be able to tell their health care professionals about their wishes and be able to make decisions on their behalf if they can’t.

Planning ahead may involve some difficult conversations with the person you look after as well as family and friends.

His dad couldn’t accept the diagnosis for a long time. And our friends have reacted differently – and sometimes surprisingly. A few of our closest friends couldn’t cope and disappeared, while some people we didn’t know so well have become much closer to us. Sita

Planning for the final stages of caring is particularly difficult. Have a look at our information on thinking and planning ahead. It covers what you can expect if the person you care for is reaching the end of their life, and what you might need to do. This includes planning end of life care and putting affairs in order. You might also want to talk to health care professionals about the options available locally, such as helping you care at home, care in a hospice or hospital.

When caring ends

Your caring role is likely to change over time, and it is hard to adjust when it comes to an end. When the person you care for dies, your feelings and reactions will be unique to you but a range of support is available.

Dying matters is an organisation that aims to help people talk more openly about bereavement. Carers UK has a list of practical things you may need to do.

Where to get more help

Our helpline - our friendly helpline team can help you with all aspects of caring for someone with a lung condition, including welfare benefits.
03000 030 555

Our web community - chat with people in a similar situation, ask questions or just have a look at what people are talking about.

Carers UK - gives expert advice and information and has an online forum.
0808 808 7777

Carers Trust - works to improve support and services for carers.
Carers Trust Wales 0292 009 0087
Carers Trust Scotland 0300 772 7701
Carers Northern Ireland 028 9043 9843

NHS Choices - guide to care and support
Carers Direct helpline 0300 123 1053

Supporting someone with breathlessness – a website with help and advice made for family and friends of people with breathlessness, sometimes called ‘carers’.

Download our carers information (PDF 237KB)

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

Last medically reviewed: November 2018. Due for review: November 2021

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.