one man is relaxing on the sofa with oxygen as he accepts help from another man who is vacuuming for him.

Do’s and Don’ts of Accepting Help With COPD

I’m glad that I learned some do’s and don’ts of accepting help when living with COPD from my mom. One of the hardest things for many people is accepting help. Whether it’s picking up a prescription or lifting a heavy item, we hate to ask. I learned a lot while caregiving for my mom. Her knowledge and experience came in handy when I got cancer and needed help for myself.

Language

DON’T: Say, “You don’t have to do that.”

DO: Learn to say “Yes, thank you so much.”

When someone offers a service or a gift, we sometimes feel shy and shush them. We politely turn them down before we even consider that they truly want to help. Stop and take a breath, then accept that wonderful offer. It may take some practice, especially if you are the type who had rather do it yourself.

Acceptance

DON’T: Criticize the gift or service

DO: Learn to accept it for what it is, a caring gesture from someone who cares. 

After my cancer diagnosis, hubby began to sweep the floor. He grabs a broom and moves dirt down the hall. At first, I wanted to point out a spot that he left undone. Then I remembered mom and how she never criticized my housekeeping skills at her place. From that day on, I began to thank him for keeping our heavy traffic area dirt-free.

About money

DON’T: Automatically offer to pay them.

DO: Take note of whether they have a financial concern.

By the time mom got diagnosed with COPD, she knew better than to pay me. My time spent was a gift that was given. She allowed me the freedom to release my energy by taking care of some of her needs. There were a couple of times that she knew of expenses that had come up. Occasionally, she tucked some cash in my hand and told me to go take care of it, and not to say a word back to her. It felt good for both of us then.

Reciprocity and burden

DON’T: Overthink it.

DO: Let it become a part of your relationship with your friend or loved one who is helping.

When someone close to you offers to help, learning to accept it may be difficult. Hopefully, the caring is reciprocal, and you both get something out of it.

DON’T: Feel like a burden

DO: Stop any negative story line about being a burden 

Sometimes we can create a story about how much of a burden we are. Occasionally we will project that onto someone who is trying to be kind to us. Maybe someone said something in the past, and we got hurt. Try not to bring those negative feelings into every situation. Allow yourself the liberty of being free to receive.

Family and need

I’m learning to let my family serve me in ways that I never dreamed of. If you’re in need, I truly hope that you can begin to change the way that you accept help from others. These do’s and don’ts of accepting help with COPD can help you to see things in a different light. The next time someone wants to offer you their services, or a gift, relax and say thanks!

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