What is a patient support group?
A patient support group is a group of people who have common interests and needs. Lung Foundation Australia supports a network of support groups for people who have lung conditions, and their carers and family.
What do patient support groups do?
When you join a patient support group, you can expect to benefit from a range of possible activities from social support to special seminars to online support chat rooms.
How can you benefit from a patient support group?
Joining a patient support group allows you to:
- Discuss the information you have learnt from your doctor and other health care professionals, as sometimes the information is difficult to remember or confusing.
- Access new information on your lung condition.
- Share your experiences in a caring environment.
- Participate in pleasurable social activities.
- Change the way you think about your condition.
- Help your carer to understand your condition.
Have you ever experienced the satisfaction of helping someone else in distress? Sometimes, focusing our energy on helping others is the best therapy for overcoming our own troubled feelings.
There are people who need your support and friendship.
Who will attend the patient support group?
You will meet ordinary people, from all different working and ethnic backgrounds. They will share with you a common personal interest in managing their lung condition, whether they are a patient or a carer.
Group members will also have a wide variety of social and lifestyle interests.
Where and when do patient support groups meet?
Most groups have regular meetings that are held at a community or neighbourhood centre, or a meeting room at a local hospital. Venues with reasonable transport access are normally chosen.
How much does participating in a patient support group cost?
Membership of a patient support group normally involves a small annual fee and perhaps a gold coin at meetings to cover the costs of membership services, such as postage, photocopying and meetings. These fees are always kept to an absolute minimum.
How do you join a patient support group?
Lung Foundation Australia operates an Australia-wide network of affiliated patient support groups.
To find out about patient support groups in your area, contact Lung Foundation Australia (phone: 1800 654 301, or website: www.lungfoundation.com.au).
If there is no support group in your area Lung Foundation Australia will help you set one up.