A caregiver of a person living with IPF is directly impacted by the disease.

An IPF caregiver is looking after a loved one they cannot cure. Nevertheless, good communication between the caregiver and IPF patient is critical.

As a caregiver, it is important to project a positive attitude, one that is full of hope and belief that the patient will get better. IPF patients rely on hope; whether it be for a new therapy to emerge or to receive a new set of lungs.

As a caregiver, it is important to do the following:

  • Learn as much as you can about IPF so that you can talk to the patient about it.
  • Try and attend doctors’ appointments with the patient and take notes on what instructions are given. Very often, patients experience memory loss and may not remember everything the doctor tells them.
  • Make time for yourself. Exhaustion and frustration can be transmitted to the patient and can have a negative effect on their ability to cope with the disease.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep, as days can be busy with work, followed by coming home to household duties and caring for a loved one

Caregiver burnout is a major issue and has a significant impact on IPF patients. If you experience this, reach out to your local Lung Association regarding respite services for caregivers.