The role of the family caregiver is increasingly important in hospice and palliative care, as they are often the ones who provide most of the support to their loved ones during this difficult time. There are many things caregivers can do to help make their loved one’s final days more comfortable and less stressful. This includes maintaining a sense of normalcy, taking care of themselves, and reaching out for help when they need it. Professionals and other caregivers can offer invaluable support during this time. Resources like websites and helplines are available to provide information and emotional support to caregivers during their time of need.
For many people, the idea of death is hard to confront. It can be even more difficult when it involves a loved one who is suffering and you want to help them in any way possible, but aren’t sure how. Most caregivers usually end up caring for their loved ones at home when they’re nearing the end of their lives. But what are the best ways to support them during this time?
One expert, Kathleen Fraser, a palliative care nurse and manager at the Ottawa Hospital’s Regional Palliative Care Program, offers some advice. According to her, caregivers should try their best to maintain a sense of normalcy for their loved ones. This means continuing to engage in conversations, keeping up with regular routines, and providing emotional support.
It’s also important for caregivers to remember to take care of themselves. This means getting enough rest, eating healthy foods, and taking breaks when necessary. It can be easy to get overwhelmed during this time, but it’s important to remember that you can only offer your best if you’re taking care of yourself.
Finally, Fraser adds that caregivers should find support when they need it. This could mean asking for help with chores or hiring professional home care assistance with tasks like bathing your loved one or cooking meals for them. It can also be helpful to reach out to palliative care nurses and social workers in your area for advice and emotional support.
If you’re not sure what to do or how to handle a particular situation, don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals or other caregivers. The bottom line is that caregivers are an essential part of hospice and palliative care. Their support can make a big difference for loved ones who are nearing the end of their lives.