Explaining NIV to family and friends

Explaining NIV to family and friends

People can be curious and they may want to ask you questions about your new NIV kit. Thinking about how to respond can give you confidence.

When you start to use NIV, your family and close friends will be the ones who see you using it first, or see it in your home. If you start to use it during the day time too, you may get asked questions by people when you are out and about.¬†One of the most common questions you may hear is “Why are you on oxygen?” – when, of course, you know you are not.

Everyone finds their own way to respond to such questions, and some people like to know they are helping to raise public awareness of using NIV. Many people have not heard of NIV being used for MND. However, quite a few people have heard of it being used for sleep apnoea, so this can be a useful reference point to help them understand.

By reading the information on this site, and talking to your care team, you will soon become your own expert in NIV! We would recommend sharing this site with your family and friends to help them learn about your NIV – you can use the share button on each page to email them specific pages.


Explaining NIV to family and friends

Children can also have many questions, which can seem daunting – but they are very open to new ideas.

Explaining to young children or grandchildren can seem more challenging. They may be worried by the mask initially, or how it changes your appearance. It is worth spending some time showing them the machine and how you use it. Allow them to feel the airflow as it comes out of the mask and they can understand how gentle it actually is. If they want to, let them try it on their face!

This approach will also work well with your family and friends of any age, and they will soon understand that it is quite comfortable for you to wear.

Also take some time to explain the benefits of using it – sleeping better, more energy, etc. When they understand this, they will be very pleased that you are using it. This insight will help them to adjust to using NIV with you, until it becomes just another part of daily life.