How can you help?

Good communication is key.

Eye contact, facial expression and the tone of your voice are all important  to facilitate good communication.

You should aim to let the person do most of the talking. Using open ended questions can really help. For example “Tell me what you think makes your breathlessness better and what makes it worse?”

Be aware of how the person is feeling at that moment. They maybe frustrated, scared, bored, excited, in pain or discomfort. Look for signs in their body language. Are they looking at you or away from you? Are they restless, trying to find a comfortable position?

Actively listen to what is being said. Try not to interrupt with too many questions until they have finished speaking. Use your time to clarify any points. Confirm and mirror what the person has said to ensure you know what they mean. By doing this you are telling them that you have listened and understood what they have said. For example “ From what you have told me so far, I can see your goal is to control your cough and get back to your social club, is that right?”