Caregivers

Caregivers often go through a variety of emotions when caring for a loved one. Oftentimes the emotions are of grief, frustration, and guilt, just to name a few. With the right education and support, caregiving for a dying love one can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. It is essential for caregivers to take good care of the patient as well as themselves, which is why hospice providers are there to help support the caregivers in their new roles.

 
Tips for Caregiving:

  1. Physical Comfort—ensuring patients are comfortable is one of the main goals of hospice care. Be sure to ask your loved one regularly if they are comfortable or if they are experiencing any pain. This knowledge will help the healthcare provider assess the patient’s needs during their visits.
  2. Emotional and Spiritual Care—caregivers are not the only one experiencing a variety of emotions, the patient could very well be feeling such emotions as mourning the loss of independence, feeling guilty for the added load their care may be putting on the family, grieving the end of their life and for family and friends, anger or disappointment if they feel their life wasn’t meaningful. Be sure to ask your loved one often to share how they are feeling, and be an active listener. If you loved one wishes, involve your hospice provider’s chaplain. They are experts in listening and speaking with patients nearing the end of life.
  3. Take Care of Yourself – it is essential for caregivers to take good care of themselves so they in turn can provide great care to their loved ones. Caregivers should eat healthy foods and exercise, and most importantly take time for themselves.

 

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, you or your loved one may not get better. If you are worried about this and want to prepare yourself and your family, you may wish to consider all or some of the most common questions listed below. Addressing these issues in advance can save you valuable time later and assure your wishes are fulfilled. Next to each question is one or more resources that can help you address that question.

 

QUESTION

 WHO TO ASK

How long can I expect to live? Doctor
Do I need Estate Planning and a Will? Attorney
CPA
Financial Advisor
Hospice Staff
Do I need an Advance Directive, Living Will or a Health Care Agent? Attorney
Internet Sites
Trusted Family Member
Hospice Staff
 Should I stop life prolonging treatment? Doctor
Spiritual Advisor
Trusted Family Member
Hospice Staff
Should I allow aggressive life sustaining treatment?
For example, use CPR if my heart stops?
Doctor
Spiritual Advisor
Trusted Family Member
Hospice Staff