The Importance of Hospice Care
Before cremation services in Phoenix, AZ, many family members will be taking care of another family member who is terminally ill. The responsibilities of caregiving– because in many caregiving situations, one person handles most of the load – can be exhausting, especially if the caregiver is still trying to work part-time or full-time.
As a person who is approaching the end of life becomes more fragile and more dependent, the caregiver may find themselves scrambling to find help while they are at work or when they need to run errands, such as getting groceries, picking prescriptions up, or even something as simple as getting a haircut. Friends and other family members are not always close by or available to help out in these situations.
When the caregiver gets home, they often have to both handle all the caregiving responsibilities and maintain the household (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.)
All of this can be overwhelming. It’s not unusual for caregivers to experience a high level of stress and to feel tired all the time. It can be difficult to ask for help because Americans have independence drilled into them from the time they are born. Caregivers can experience shame to admit they can’t do everything, and they need help. Asking for help is often seen as weakness.
But the reality is that one person simply is not able to do everything when they are taking care of a loved one who is dying. It’s impossible to do anything well, and almost every area of life suffers as responsibilities grow.
Hospice care is designed to help ease some of these burdens. Many people are hesitant to think about getting hospice involved because hospice is most associated with the last few days or hours of life.
However, if a loved one has a terminal illness or is suffering from a chronic disease that eventually cause death, hospice care can begin as soon as the diagnosis is made.
Hospice care is equipped to cover all the needs that the dying person and their caregiver(s) may have. Not only does hospice care provide medical care (nurses visit two or more times a week, and there is a 24-hour number to call if medical issues arise suddenly), but each patient also has a social worker and chaplain assigned to them.
Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are available to assist with personal grooming. Volunteers can provide respite care (2-3 hours at a time) when the caregiver needs to go out for short periods of time.
Hospice care nurses are constantly assessing the dying loved one’s needs Everything they do is to ensure the patient’s comfort. They closely with doctors and medical supply companies to make sure the dying person is always comfortable. They will also ensure that caregivers have everything they need to take care of their loved one.
Social workers can help find community resources that to assist the caregiver and their loved one with practical needs. This might mean making sure that a community service like Meals on Wheels delivers daily meals to the home. It might mean, if the dying person is a military veteran, checking on what benefits the veteran might be entitled to. It might mean help finding services that can assist with household maintenance.
Hospice also has chaplains who are available, if they are wanted, to offer spiritual comfort and support to both caregivers and their dying loved ones.