Knowing When to Cancel Plans
There were many times, growing up, that my mom would push through almost anything just to make sure that no one’s plan needed to change just because she was having a bad health day. She would do whatever it took to keep a strong facade until everything was over. Then for the next week, she would spend extra time trying to “catch up” by resting more than usual.
As I got older and as she advanced in COPD, we all began to realize that charging through was not necessarily the best idea. I consider myself relatively healthy, but I know that when I try to cram more into a 24 hour time period than I should, I open myself up to a greater chance for sickness. This is much more important when someone has COPD. A simple cold can develop into bronchitis or even pneumonia.
So what should you, as the caregiver, do when a bad health day comes along for your loved one at a time when plans have been made?
1. Don’t be afraid to postpone or cancel plans.
Many times your loved one will push through out of love. They don’t want to be the reason that the Christmas gathering is postponed or cancelled. Talk to everyone involved and find a way to move the date. If it is not possible to postpone, you may need to make the decision to cancel the plans all together. Keep in mind that continuing with plans when your loved one is having a tough time will not only be stressful, it could possibly be detrimental to your loved one’s health. Keeping this kind of perspective will help you make the tough decisions.
2. Find a way to make it up.
If you had to postpone the Christmas gathering, you need to make sure that the family gets together as soon as possible when your love one is feeling better. It would be easy to let it go and miss the event all together, but if you string together a few of these, your loved one will begin feeling that family gatherings are always cancelled because of them. That’s not a good feeling.
3. Communicate with everyone.
Here is that word again: Communication. You need to make sure that everyone understands what is happening. It is only through communication that you will be able to help family and friends understand that just because a few gatherings have been cancelled doesn’t mean that they cannot come around at all. It is also important to note that family and friends need to know that they should not be around your loved one if they are sick, especially with anything respiratory related.
Having to postpone anything will be difficult for your loved one. It is up to you to know your patient enough to know when to cancel and when to push through. However, I’m sure that you know that it is better to always err on the side of caution.
Once the decision to postpone has been made, be sure to help your loved one remain as positive as possible. Keeping a good attitude will help them to believe that they will overcome the reason for the postponement.
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