Today is Friday, the day that I dedicate to the amazing people who fall are caregivers.
You are true warriors. You battle the elements to get your loved ones to doctor’s appointments, You battle your grief as you go about providing care while you are tired, frustrated and wondering how you’ll be able to make it. You battle Alzheimer’s disease daily. Sometimes you get a thank you and sometimes you don’t. But you always keep on going.
After a few days of talking about hospice, I’ll wrap up the week by telling you how hospice can help you as a caregiver. You may be tempted to skip over this because your loved one is not anywhere near the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. However, I encourage you to read on because the more informed you are, the easier it will be to make a decision when the time comes.
Just by way of review – Hospice is a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments. Most people are not aware that hospice care is a benefit of Medicare Part A. Some hospice workers refer to it as “Medicare’s best kept secret.” Please see my post entitled Medicare Made Simple for more information about Medicare.
Here’s how hospice can help you as a caregiver:
Hospice can help you to be the best caregiver possible during a very difficult time. According to Hospicenet.org, Hospice can teach you to:
- Communicate effectively with your loved one
- Support your loved one’s spiritual concerns
- Help resolve unfinished business
- Work with health professionals
- Work and communicate with family and friends
- Take care of your own needs
- Hospice can provide you with a myriad of readings and affirmations from various faith traditions to share with your loved one
- Hospice can teach you and help you to say goodbye
- Hospice can help you to understand the process of death. They can help you to understand what is happening physically to your loved one. It’s difficult to watch our loved ones die, but it is important to know in advance what is happening.
- Hospice can also help you with a companion or volunteer for your loved one if you have to be away from home to run errands, etc. for a period of time or need a break and don’t want you leave your loved one alone.
So friend, I encourage you to seriously consider allowing the wonderful employees and volunteers of hospice to help you as you care for your loved one. Remember that you are no good to your loved one if you are trying to play martyr or superman (or woman). Your loved one needs you informed, rested and ready.
In the end, in addition to providing care for your loved one, the hospice team can help YOU to be the best caregiver you can be.