The British Lung Foundation's peer support groups show people they're not alone
Mike, 73, spent most of his working life in the retail petroleum industry, surrounded by petrol fumes. He now has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the most common lung condition among older people, and is also affected by high blood pressure and depression.
Mike got involved with Integrated Breathe Easy through our respiratory information event in Ormskirk, West Lancashire.
How being part of Integrated Breathe Easy has helped:
It has helped me understand the condition more and how to cope with it
Supporting people to understand and manage their lung condition is integral to Integrated Breathe Easy.
Healthcare professionals visit the groups to provide information and support to members on topics from inhaler technique and protection from winter illnesses, to rescue packs to use during exacerbations and nutrition. This helps people to live healthier lives for longer.
Group members feel a real sense of comradery and benefit from sharing their personal stories
Mike told us he felt like he was the only one suffering with COPD, which he now understands isn't true. This reflects the stories of many group members. The symptoms of lung disease, such as breathlessness and wheezing, often result in people becoming inactive and lonely.
Integrated Breathe Easy groups provide a safe space for people living with conditions such as COPD to share experiences and find mutual support.
For more information on how you can get involved in an Integrated Breathe Easy peer support group, please visit the Accelerating Ideas webpage.