For hospice care provided at home, a family member often serves as the primary caregiver. How much direct physical care you provide is up to you. In taking on the role of a caregiver, you may feel anxious and possibly a bit frightened, but also determined to do whatever it takes to help your loved one.
The hospice team is available to educate and support you and your loved one. Your nurse can teach you specific care techniques, such as changing your loved one's position in bed or giving medications.
Caring for a loved one affects every aspect of a caregiver's life. It's important to consider what you can do, how other relatives and friends can help, and what community resources have to offer. You need to take care of yourself, too. To help with planning, ask yourself these questions:
- How can I be involved?
- How much do I want to be involved?
- What is realistic in terms of my time and other responsibilities?
- How will I continue to take care of myself while also providing care?
- What support do I need?
- Whom can I talk with about my own feelings?
You may prefer to have outside help with some of your loved one's physical care. We can assist you in exploring your options, such as finding private caregivers to hire at home or a care facility.
Being a caregiver can be stressful but also rewarding. Remember you are not alone.