Supporting people with breathlessness to live a fulfilling life, and to do everything you need to get done, can be challenging.

Carers and patients can put a lot of pressure on themselves to do things in the same way as other people or to do things in the way they did before the patient had breathlessness. Because of this, it is common for carers and patients living with breathlessness to feel frustrated at times.

In reality, everyone’s experience of breathlessness is different and everyone is able to do different amounts.

What you can do to help the patient

  • Giving yourself and the patient permission to do things in a new way – your own unique way – can help take off some of this pressure
  • Giving yourself permission to do things differently can also help you do the other 5 Ps
  • It’s also important to give yourself permission to look after your own health
  • Focus on what you and the patient are able to do, rather than on what you can no longer do
  • Try to be patient with one another and talk to each other if you are feeling upset. More often than not, if you are finding something difficult, the patient will be struggling with it too.

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Page last reviewed: 08/05/2020