How Caregivers Support Hospice & Palliative Care

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November is National Hospice and Palliative Care month. When a family member is in palliative care or hospice, the role of the family caregiver looks different.

If you are the main family caregiver, one of the key factors is getting and staying organized. Start a notebook where you can keep important phone numbers, medications, and notes about the patient. Utilize the notebook when you need to add important caregiving tasks, appointment schedules and locations, daily routines for the patient, and more. The more organized you are, the easier it will be for others to provide the respite care you’ll need to spend quality time with your loved one and get the rest you need to keep yourself healthy.

What Is Hospice?

Hospice is specialized care designed to support an individual with a terminal illness as well as their friends and family. Rather than focusing on a cure for the illness, hospice aims to provide comfort and quality of life for the remainder of the person’s life. Hospice seeks to administer and maintain care pain-free, giving individuals time and comfort to spend with their loved ones. Hospice also can provide emotional support for family members coping with the idea of losing their loved one.

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with a serious illness. It can be combined with curative treatment and focuses on providing relief and stress from the illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life for the patient and their loved ones. The medical care of doctors, nurses, social workers and other specialists work with an individual’s doctor to provide extra support.

The Professional Caregiver’s Role

The primary role professional caregivers from agencies such as Assisting Hands Home Care serving CITY is to provide support to the individual in hospice or palliative care as well as their loved ones. Families often supplement their own caregiving of their loved one by hiring a professional caregiver to take care of important tasks and errands. This allows them to focus on spending quality time with their loved one, rather than feeling distracted or overwhelmed with details or personal care.

Caregivers Enhance Quality of Life

Caregivers can help enhance the quality of life for older adults who are in hospice by doing various tasks for them. Individuals may have a small appetite and may have difficulty swallowing, so preparing small meals that are easy to swallow are helpful. Also, having nice, loose clothing that they can easily wear will help them feel comfortable and looking their best.

When a loved one is in hospice or palliative care, it is an emotionally difficult time. Family and friends who are caregivers need a break from their caregiving duties. Hospice respite care allows family members to take a temporary break to attend a family event or even take a short vacation.

If you and your family need extra support while your loved one is in palliative care or hospice, give us a call at Assisting Hands Home Care serving Columbus, OH. We can quickly come to your aid. One of our care managers will contact you for details, and we can often have a caregiver present with your loved one within a very short time. Don’t take everything on yourself – get the support you need to ease this challenging time.