Providing care for a loved one is an important role, but also comes with challenges. Respiratory Health Association (RHA) created the COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit in 2017 to support informal caregivers of people living with COPD. This educational resource provides caregivers the tools and guidance they need in their role as caregiver, while also protecting their own health. Early support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Learn More Breathe Better® program enabled RHA to study the acceptability and usability of this tool. Findings from this study showed that caregivers found the Toolkit to be useful in navigating the multiple roles of caring for someone living with COPD.
Because of this positive response to Toolkit, NHLBI recently partnered with RHA to create a digital form of the Toolkit in hopes of providing greater support to caregivers across the country. The digital form of the Toolkit contains the same information provided in the hard copy resource, separated into online modules on an NHLBI webpage. These modules cover a variety of topics such as how to prepare for doctors’ appointments, navigate changes in home life, provide help after a COPD flare-up or hospital stay, and more. Medication and vaccination tracking sheets and a list of questions to ask doctors are also available for download on the webpage.
Click here to read a brief message from NHLBI’s Dr. James Kiley and RHA’s Joel Africk about the COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit.