Dear Caregiver, 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) can be referred to as a family illness. That’s because when a person is diagnosed with COPD, the entire family, and other loved ones, are affected in a number of ways—from the start, and as the disease progresses.

The transition to the role of caregiver can be an unpredictable and challenging one, but being connected to the right resources and tools can help. You and the person you care for should be empowered to learn more about the disease and live better with a diagnosis. The COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit was designed to do just that. Combining medical and non-medical information from many sources into a format that’s easy to use, simple to understand, and actionable, this Toolkit supports those impacted by a COPD diagnosis. Inside is information on medications and treatments, managing a home for a loved one with COPD, making the most of doctor visits, and—importantly—ways caregivers can be sure to also take care of themselves.

Respiratory Health Association (RHA) proudly put together the first version of this resource, based on real-life experiences and insights of caregivers, along with its design partner The Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology. Early support from Learn More Breathe Better®, a program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, enabled RHA to learn more about how caregivers would use the tool. And now, we’re collaborating to bring you this Toolkit in hopes of providing greater support to caregivers across the country.

Together, we can improve the quality of life of people with COPD while supporting those who care for them.


Jim & Joel

Dr. James Kiley


Joel J. Africk


James P. Kiley, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Lung Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Joel J. Africk
President and Chief Executive Officer
Respiratory Health Association



About NHLBI’s Learn More Breathe Better Program

Learn More Breathe Better Logo


Learn More Breathe Better is a national health education program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Learn More Breathe Better aims to bring greater visibility to lung health by translating research for public and professional education programs.


About Respiratory Health Association’s Living Better Together with COPD Program

RHA Logo


Living Better Together with COPDSM is a program of Respiratory Health Association (RHA). RHA is a 501(c)(3) public charity, founded in 1906 in Chicago. Today, the organization addresses asthma, COPD, lung cancer, tobacco control, and air quality with a comprehensive approach involving education, research, and policy change. RHA’s mission is to prevent lung disease, promote clean air, and help people live better lives.  

Living Better Together with COPDSM is a program of RHA that combines education, digital and hard copy resources, and events designed to help people living with COPD, and their caregivers, better manage their COPD. RHA’s Living Better Together with COPDSM program components include a) Project STRENGTH booklets to help people engage in pulmonary rehabilitation at home, b) a patient-centered in-person conference, c) COPD management best practices webinars, d) Inspiration – the bi-yearly printed newsletter, e) and other supportive tools for caregivers like this toolkit and its hard copy counterpart.


For questions about this toolkit or requests for additional support, please contact:

Respiratory Health Association
(312) 628-0229

If you have specific questions about COPD and lung health you may also contact:
Learn More Breathe Better

NHLBI Center for Health Information
1-877-NHLBI4U (1-877-645-2448)