How to help...Dad has late stage heart failure and COPD

  • Posts: 1
    17/02/2019  21:19

    My Dad has late stage heart failure and COPD. I don’t know how to help him or what he needs or what I should say to him.

    Can anyone offer any advice? What have you found helpful or useful in communicating? How can I make conversation when he struggles to speak and tired easily.

    Thanks for any help.

  • Posts: 18
    18/02/2019  14:26

    Hello StephenC,


    We’re sorry to read about your dad’s diagnosis. Supporting a loved one living with a terminal illness can be challenging. It’s not unusual to worry about what your loved one needs, what you can do to help, or what to say to them. We feature some information on our website about how friends and family can help, if you feel this would be beneficial you can read this here:

    It's understandable that you're wanting to help your dad and support him in an appropriate way. It can be natural for the person living with a terminal illness to experience both good and bad days, feelings may also fluctuate throughout the day. Hopefully others here on the community will share with you what they found helpful when supporting a loved one.

    You mention that your dad struggles to speak and gets tired easily. Many people living with a terminal illness tell us that just knowing that a loved one is there for them, when they need it can be invaluable and such a comfort to them. Family members often tell us that they feel as though they want to do more in these situations. Sometimes having an honest conversation with their loved one can help to know what support works best for them.

    You may or may not already be aware of The British Lung Foundation and The British Heart Foundation. They both feature information on their websites specifically around the illnesses your dad has, you can visit these websites here: and .

    We hope you will find this information helpful.

    Take care,

    Bonnie - Marie Curie Support Line Team 

  • 08/07/2019  20:05

    StephenC Hi there sorry to hear about your dad. My grandad also has COPD and he’s had a couple of heart attacks. For the last couple of weeks he’s been in hospital and after my mum had a meeting with one of the doctors earlier and they said that they wouldn’t be able to say how long he could be around for, so could only be a matter of months.

  • Posts: 18
    10/07/2019  13:15

    Hello Hannah,


    Thank you for taking the time to join our online community and for sharing your own personal experience with us and Stephen. We’re sorry to read about your grandad’s diagnosis and all that you’re going through as a family.


    The uncertainty of not knowing how long a loved one could live for can be difficult to process. We often hear on the Support Line that talking about what’s happening and how you’re feeling can be helpful. If you or any of your family would like a listening ear, you’re more than welcome to contact us on Freephone 0800 090 2309 or by responding directly to this message.


    We hope that others here on the community will also share their experience with you.


    Take care,


    Bonnie - Marie Curie Support Line Team.