Caregivers provide support to someone who needs help. It doesn’t matter how many hours per week are spent providing support. Caring for a family member
or friend is not something most of us are prepared to do, nor is it easy. Learning about being a caregiver may help you provide the care your friend or loved one needs.
If you’re a caregiver, you could be doing the following things for another person:
- Feeding (click here for more information)
- Running errands
- Lifting (click here for more information)
- Keeping him or her company
- Giving medication
- Paying bills
- Turning him or her in bed (click here for more information)
- Providing emotional support
You may be caring for someone who needs assistance with day-to-day activities, but can still make their own decisions about personal matters such as any household issues, financial affairs, and medical care.
Being familiar with and understanding your loved one’s personal values and wishes will be important as you become responsible for making decisions for them. Advance care planning is a process that allows people to make decisions about the care you would want to receive if they happen to become unable to communicate them. Advance directives are tools that enable people to write
down their preferences on a legal form and appoint someone to speak for them if they are no longer able. To help ensure peace of mind for your loved one and for the caregiver, it is a good idea to have healthcare power of attorney, financial power of attorney, a living will, and a plan for funeral arrangements planned out in advance.
Tips for Caregivers
- Care giving is a job and making time for yourself is something you have earned. Reward yourself with respite breaks often. Ask us about out volunteer and respite care services
- Watch out for signs of depression, and don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it. (click here for more information on signs of depression)
- When other people offer to help you, accept their offer and suggest specific things that they can do.
- Educating yourself about your loved one’s condition and how to communicate effectively with doctors will make things easier.
- Trust your instincts. In most cases they’ll lead you in the right directions.
- Caregivers often do a lot of lifting, pushing, and pulling, so take care of your back. Learn proper techniques to avoid injuries.
- Grieve for your losses, and then allow yourself to strive to achieve your
own personal goals.
- Seek support from other caregivers; there is great strength in knowing you are not alone. Support groups are available.
- As a caregiver and a citizen you have rights, stand up for them.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout:
- You find yourself not having the energy you are use to having
- It seems like you catch every cold or flu that’s going around
- Even after sleeping or taking a break, you’re constantly exhausted
- Your own needs get neglected, either because you’re too busy or you
don’t care anymore
- You get little satisfaction as a caregiver and your life revolves around it
- Even when help is available, you have a hard time relaxing
- You’re increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you’re caring for
- You feel helpless, hopeless, and overwhelmed
* If you fall under three or more of the above signs of caregiver burnout call Lake Superior Hospice to discuss opportunities to utilize volunteer, respite care, and other services. (906) 225-7760
1. “Preventing Caregiver Burnout: Tips and Support for Family Caregivers.”
Helpguide.org: Expert, Ad-free Articles Help Empower You with Knowledge,
Support & Hope. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. www.helpguide.org.
2. Family Caregiving 101. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. www.familycaregiving101.org.
3. Family Caregiver Support Network — Www.caregiversupportnetwork.org. Web.
14 Sept. 2011. www.caregiversupportnetwork.org.
4. “Planning Ahead – CARING CONNECTIONS – NHPCO.” Home – CARING
CONNECTIONS – NHPCO. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. www.caringinfo.org.
Community Care Supportive Services
What is Community Care?
– Compassionate healthcare that adds a layer of unique support for the family and patient as they face symptom burden and treatment options related to their chronic diagnosis
What patients can expect:
-Customized weekly contact and 24 hour telephone support with certified staff
-Assistance with prescription concerns, disease trajectory, resource identification, family conferencing, and advance care planning
– Referrals to community resources
– Advance Care Planning and education
Who Qualifies for Community Care?
-Chronically ill individuals needing support that do not meet hospice or home health criteria
– Individuals diagnosed with COPD, HF, Cancer, CVA, or other debilitating/life threatening issues discharged from rehabilitation, hospital, or hospice settings
For More Information or any Questions Regarding Community Care Supportive Services Please Contact our office at 906-225-7760.