As a caregiver, your focus is on your person. Usually caregiving involves oral care, maintaining linens, providing bed baths, taking care of the skin, and meeting needs as they come up (e.g., eating, drinking, changing clothes, repositioning, etc.).
As a hospice agency, you as the caregiver are important to us as well. One of our jobs is to check in on you, and make sure that you have opportunities to refresh as you continue in this act of service for your loved one.
Caregiver stress is real. It is an emotional and physical strain from caring for a loved one. Common feelings and emotions include feeling overwhelmed, tired – oversleeping or unable to sleep, weight changes, mood changes – irritability, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, feeling sad, headaches/body pain, and increased use of alcohol or drugs (including prescription medications).
Giving yourself permission to take care of your person – your mind, your body, and your spirit, is part of the hospice philosophy. You have permission to not finish all tasks, not be all things to all people, say, “No,” schedule time for yourself, and be untidy and imperfect.
Discussing these concerns with your hospice team – the nurse, the social worker, and the chaplain, helps us help you. Let us know!