Caring for the Hospice Caregiver
Caregiving is, at times, challenging, rewarding, frustrating, full of meaning and life-changing. That it can take an emotional and physical toll on caregivers is the topic of a recent AARP national poll that revealed approximately one in five caregivers feel some aspect of their lives had “gotten worse.” One in three caregivers reported feeling sad or depressed, 44 percent admitted to bottling up their feelings and 33 percent isolated themselves, avoiding people or situations.
Family caregivers are our partners in ensuring our patients’ comfort and well-being. Our support for caregivers can both help them feel confident and competent in their role and provide much-needed respite from caregiving:
- Our Social Workers help identify professional home care agencies to provide assistance between hospice visits. They also help identify social services and other resources that can help with day-to-day needs.
- Home Health Aides teach caregivers simple techniques to manage physical demands, such as moving patients and caring for bodily functions, and how to keep their loved ones safe from falls and other accidents.
- Our Spiritual Support Counselors provide comfort through secular and interfaith support, inspirational reading and prayer. They can also help families make plans for a funeral or memorial service.
- Trained Volunteer visits provide a break for the family caregiver and companionship for the patient. They can help with errands, patient transportation and be a supportive presence during a patient’s final hours. Certified or licensed professionals may also provide gentle massage, energy work, therapeutic music or animal social visits.
Taking care of a hospice patient requires the time and talent of many individuals, none more important than the family caregiver. Visit our Care Team page for more details about caregiver support.