Bringing Mom (or Dad) home from the nursing home or hospital to provide home hospice care for them for the first time? Although your parent’s health is a primary concern, this isn’t the time to neglect your own! According to an AARP study1, 63% of family caregivers (60% of whom are women) report caregiving to be moderately to highly stressful.
You may have heard about the patient benefits of home hospice care. But getting your loved one enrolled as early as possible is good for you, too! Hospice can help give you the support and confidence you need to keep your stress levels in check and to protect your own health. Here are just a few ways home hospice care helps:
Getting support upfront reduces anxiety and makes the whole journey easier.
New family caregivers often encounter the unexpected when they first bring their parent or loved one home. Maybe Mom can’t walk now, or Dad can’t get in and out of a regular bed. The entire experience can be overwhelming.
With hospice support from the outset, you can get help sorting through both the expected and the unexpected from day one—making your transition smoother and less stressful. Even if you’re discharged from the hospital at 7 p.m., the on-call nurse will come out to help you get settled and identify your follow up needs. And it’s likely they’ve seen all your surprises at some point before.
Help with creating medication schedules makes the shift to home care more manageable.
There’s a good chance your loved one came home with a bunch of bottles of pills and a long list of medications—ones that the hospital or nursing home would administer at all hours of the day and night. Your hospice nurse will help you understand what to give, when to give it, and what to look for—all while getting things on a schedule that makes sense for home care so you can get some rest.
You’ll get a crash course in the caregiving skills you need.
Needing to perform medical tasks is associated with higher levels of caregiver stress.1 Whether you suddenly find yourself in charge of injectable medications, a feeding tube, or wound care, our hospice team will show you what you need to know—without overwhelming you. They’ll also show you ways you can make your environment safer and more comfortable for your loved one. You’ll quickly find that your hospice team members aren’t just talented coaches—they’re also your #1 cheering section.
Your team will check in on you, too.
Sure, you’ll hear over and over that you need to take care of yourself if you’re going to have anything left to take care of someone else. But it’s one thing to know you need to take care of yourself. It’s another to actually do it when you’re pulled in so many different directions and weighed down by a sense of guilt.
Having a hospice team to check in on how you’re doing can be incredibly helpful. They’ll be there to ask you: When’s the last time you sat down? Are you getting enough sleep? What would help you feel refreshed? They’ll remind you that selfcare isn’t selfish, it’s essential.
Many caregivers, especially women, are reluctant to ask for help. Your team will step in and remind you of the caregiver supports available to you—from weekly volunteer visits so you can step out for a couple of hours to respite care at the Delaware Hospice Center.
When it comes to getting hospice help, the earlier the better! You, your loved one, and your entire family will benefit. For more information, call 800-838-9800 or visit www.delawarehospice.org. 1References available upon request.