Family caregiving is centered on preserving the comfort and well being of your loved one in need with the resources you have. With all of your compassion and dedication, it is difficult when your loved one’s health declines or as they gradually progress to greater age and less ability. In these situations it is easy to feel powerless.
You are not alone; many families experience the same burden as their loved ones approach end of life. In fact, a recent article in the Journal of Nursing says, “Family caregivers were found in a recent national survey to provide care to 75% of older people in their last year of life”. While end of life is often difficult to accept, hospice and palliative care can make all the difference for your loved one and yourself. As you think about bringing hospice and palliative care into your home, here are a few tips that will ease your transition.
Shift Your Focus
Hospice and family caregiving have a lot in common. As we stated earlier, you are doing your best to preserve your loved one’s quality of life. In a recent study, University at Buffalo Social Work states that “Admission to hospice requires that patient and their physicians shift their focus away from curing an illness and toward the pursuit of physical and emotional comfort at life’s end”. Putting an emphasis on quality of life is important in well being in end of life care.
Consult a Social Worker
Working with physicians and nurses is common practice for you as a caregiver. Medical professionals know a great deal about their area of medicine, but may not know much about other types of care. Seek out the advice of people who know about all types of care, such as a social worker who can give good advice about the type of care you should pursue for your loved one. You can find these professionals at a hospital, rehabilitation facility, or they may be available through your health care provider.
Investigate Care Coverage
You might wonder how you will pay for hospice or palliative care. Even if your loved one did not qualify for home care or other types of care, you may find that they are now eligible for assistance from Medicare or Medicaid. Re-investigate your coverage options.
Ask for Information
A social worker, hospice nurse, home care company or other professional in the healthcare arena will be able to give you material or direct you to a resource for information on hospice care and the dying process. When you are knowledgeable about physical and emotional care, the better comfort you can give to your loved one. You will also be better able to cope with tough emotions.
Get Social Support
The help and support of a friend, neighbor or other family member will help you through the trials you face. They may help you feel better about your decisions or be a shoulder on which to lean.
To learn more about hospice care, or to learn how home care can help with hospice and palliative care, give us a call today.