Caregivers can be family, friends, partners and neighbors.
“There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”
– Roselyn Carter
No matter what their relationship is to the patient there is one truth – caregiving is emotionally difficult and physically exhausting. Your role as a caregiver can happen during a crisis or creep in slowly – almost unnoticed. Caregivers often find themselves beginning to struggle with the day to day demands and begin to realize that caregiving begins to define who you are.
Hospice staff and volunteers are there to help lift up caregivers, to give them the skills to navigate their difficult journey and to give them the emotional support, coping skills and respite they need to give them comfort and to let them know they are not alone.
High Peaks Hospice Social Workers are supportive counselors who assist patients and families to navigate through difficult times with emotional and practical support in a variety of ways:
- supportive calls and visits to determine their needs and concerns
- short term counseling to work through emotional issues and family issues
- offering support groups
- assisting in sorting out financial issues, Medicaid, Medicare and HEAP among other services
- dealing with legal issues, advanced directives (health care proxies, living wills and power of attorney)
- care planning family conferences, nursing home options, referrals for private caregivers
- assistance with final arrangements
- access to resources such as VA benefits, Office of the Aging, HUD
- life review and life enrichment
Caregivers often find themselves feeling isolated and fatigued.
They may feel an urgency with their caregiving situation to do everything they can to improve the situation which can lead to frustration, stress and burnout. Please know that these feelings are not unique. Accepting your indispensable role in this situation also means accepting the importance of your own well-being. You cannot know how long you will be caregiving, and if you are determined to see it through, self-care is part of your job each day.
Maintaining the emotional health of the caregiver is important not only to the caregiver, but to patient care as well. In addition to one-on-one support in the home, hospice offers caregiver support groups and caregiver training. These groups focus on caring for yourself and learning the coping skills you need to do so. Support groups also allow you to share with other in similar situations as your own.
High Peaks Hospice staff provide education, guidance and support to family and other caregivers. Throughout your journey we will help to teach and guide you. The hospice “unit of care” is not just the patient. It is defined as “the patient and their family”. Assuring that the caregiver is able to understand and cope with the road ahead is an integral part of hospice services and we will do all we can to support them.
High Peaks Hospice is also available to hold caregiver training sessions. These sessions are not support groups but rather they offer practical training in how to be an effective caregiver. It addresses important tips and techniques which caregivers need to know to better care for their loved one.
Training must be scheduled with us in advance. We most commonly come into the home provide to one-on-one training, or train small groups of friends or family members who may be sharing caregiver duties. Additionally, we are happy to present to larger community groups.
- General caregiver insight
- Mouth care
- Skin care
- Making an occupied bed
- Positioning in bed
- Preventing infections
- Medication management
To request caregiver training session for yourself, your family, or for a community organization you are a part of, please contact us today.