How to Find COPD Support Groups

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an irreversible inflammatory disease of the lungs that makes it more difficult to breathe over time. The disease causes changes to the tissues inside the lungs that can make your lungs less efficient at moving oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of your body.

The symptoms of COPD include coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, tightness in the chest, and in some cases, excess mucus production. The most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. COPD also can be caused by secondhand smoke, pollution, radon exposure, and other harmful particles.

While COPD isn’t a curable disease, you can help slow its progression. Avoiding irritants and quitting smoking help to prevent further damage. You can also help slow COPD's progression by exercising regularly, doing breathing exercises, and following up with your healthcare provider for treatments.

Seniors in a support group


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Being diagnosed with an irreversible condition like COPD can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the experience alone. There is support available through online forums, chat rooms, and both in-person and virtual support groups.

In this article, we'll review the COPD support options available and how to find one that works for you.

Best Online and In-Person Support Groups for COPD

Support groups can help make managing your condition a little easier. Having a community of people who have experienced what you are going through, or who are going through it concurrently, helps you feel less alone. Other like-minded people can teach you tips, advice, and resources to help you manage your COPD.

Living with COPD Community

The Living with COPD Community is an online peer-to-peer support group run by the American Lung Association. In this group, you can learn from the experiences of other people living with COPD through their personal stories about treating and managing COPD.

To join the community, visit copd.inspire.com.

Better Breathers Club & Better Breathers Club Network

The Better Breathers Club is a nationwide network to connect people living with lung disease. For over 40 years, this network has been helping educate and support people with lung disease. The groups offer virtual meetings and recorded videos to help educate people with multiple different lung diseases, including COPD.

Learn more about the Better Breathers Club on its website.

Lung Helpline

Have questions about COPD? The American Lung Association has established a free helpline and tobacco "quitline," through which you can talk with lung experts, including nurses, respiratory therapists, and certified tobacco treatment specialists.

The service is available at 800-LUNGUSA (dial 800-586-4872 and press 2) Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Central time zone, and on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time. You can also visit the website to submit a question and live chat with an expert.

A teletype (TTY) line is available for people who are hearing impaired at 800-501-1068.

COPD360 Social

The COPD Foundation has created the COPD360 community, with over 51,000 members. In this community, you can connect with other people living with COPD, ask questions, receive support, and gain access to experts and educational materials.

Register for your COPD360 social profile on its member sign-up page.

MyCOPDTeam

MyCOPDTeam is a free social network that connects you to other people living with COPD and information to help you manage COPD. Through the network, you can share your story, learn from other people, and the MyCOPDTeam.

Sign for the network on the MYCOPD site.

Your Medical Team

Don’t forget to ask your healthcare team for support. They’ll help provide the best answers to your questions since they have a full picture of your health needs. Your medical team will also have information about local support groups to help you manage your symptoms and the emotional stress that can result from dealing with a chronic illness.

Facebook Support Groups

Social networks, like Facebook, can be a good place to find other people living with COPD. Some of these groups may be private, while others are public groups. Typically, a moderator will have to approve you into the group, depending on the group rules.

Here are few COPD Facebook support groups:

  • Let’s Talk COPD
  • COPD Warriors
  • COPD Support
  • COPD Information and Support

COPD Caregiver Support Groups

As COPD progresses, it can limit mobility and stamina, making it challenging to take care of yourself. You may need to rely on family or friends to help you complete daily activities.

Caregiving is rewarding work, but still, it can be emotionally and physically draining. Making time to take care of yourself and finding support is crucial for caregivers.

In-person and online support groups are available to help caregivers and provide them with the resources they need. Here are a few communities that offer support for caregivers:

A Word From Verywell

Managing a chronic condition like COPD can be challenging physically and emotionally. A COPD community helps provide support and tips to help you better manage the condition. Whether you prefer online, in-person, or a combination of the two, there is a support group to help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I expect in a COPD support group?

    In a COPD support group, you’ll gain a community of people who are also managing COPD. You will be able to learn from other people’s experiences and receive emotional support from people who understand what you’re going through. Some groups even offer access to health experts to get your questions answered by medical professionals.

  • How can I start a COPD support group?

    Starting a support group can be a simple task depending on how you choose to run the group. You’ll want to decide if it’s an in-person or online group. For in-person groups, you’ll find a central meeting spot such as a room in a community center or local café, schedule a time, and send out flyers to healthcare providers’ offices to get out the word. For virtual groups, you could run it through a platform like Facebook or MeetUp for free or set up a website.

  • What are the stages of COPD?

    There are four stages of COPD—mild, moderate, severe, and very severe. The stages indicate how obstructed your airways have become, and how far the disease has progressed. During later stages, you’ll notice more difficulty breathing and may require oxygen to help you breathe.

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  1. Agarwal AK, Raja A, Brown BD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2021.