What is a Patient Support Group?
A patient support group is a collective of people sharing common interests and experiences, in this case, people with a lung condition and their carers/families. It provides an environment to share information and discuss ways to cope with the challenges of living with a lung condition.
What do Patient Support Groups do?
Patient support groups offer a welcoming, informal environment and the opportunity to participate in many different types of activities, which may include:
guest speakers providing information on a range of topics
receiving and distributing lung health information
education and information days
social or recreational activities
member to member support (through telephone calls, hospital and home visits)
Where and when do Patient Support Groups meet?
Most groups have regular meetings which are often 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 it cost?
Membership of a patient support group normally involves a small annual fee and perhaps a gold coin donation at meetings to cover the costs of “membership services”, such as postage, photocopying, venue hire and tea and coffee. These fees are always kept to an absolute minimum.
Finding a Patient Support Group
To find your nearest group, telephone Lung Foundation Australia. Click here for a list of group locations. Contact details and further information can be obtained by calling 1800 654 301. If there is no patient support group in your area, you may be interested in setting one up yourself. The Lung Foundation can provide information and assistance to get you started and advice on maintaining a successful group.