PEER SUPPORT

Many people affected by COPD experience challenges completing activities. These can range from attending to personal hygiene or undertaking household chores to shopping or attending appointments. While careful daily planning can assist with some of these tasks, it is easy to feel isolated, frustrated, and even depressed or burnt-out as a result. Carers, family members and/or friends may be able to assist with some tasks, however you may find yourself grappling with experiences that require others with in-depth insight or personal experiences to relate to, or offer you the consolation and support needed.

Peer support enables people with COPD to share similar understandings of challenges and help you through difficult times to live your best life possible.

Peer support provides opportunities to make connections with people outside the household who are living with similar experiences. Support can come in a number of ways:

Individual support

One-on-one connection with a volunteering peer who lives with the same condition, and can empathize with you and share experiences and information about supports, can be very empowering.

Telephone group support

Connect with individuals across locations from the comfort of your home. Participants can share freely in this safe space and the frequency of calls can be flexed according to preferences.

Community groups

Vary in numbers, interests and formality. They can host discussions, guest speakers and social activities.

Online support networks

Members with online profiles connect via secure video conferencing for support and information sharing.

The benefits of getting connected with peer support include:

  • A sense of belonging or understanding, and combats isolation
  • Boosts hope and confidence
  • Boosts self-esteem through opportunities to help others
  • Strengthens partnerships with carers and healthcare members
  • Receiving support that complements formal medical and support services

Get connected or watch a video about peer support.


References