Caring for an ailing loved one is difficult. It hurts to watch them struggle with pain, depression, fatigue, or the side effects of medication. So often family members feel frustrated and powerless to help.
And this doesn't even begin to address other common issues like:
• financial hardships
• family discord and
• the physical toll of caring for someone who is seriously ill.
No wonder family members often feel sad, angry, tired, sometimes resentful—and then guilty!
If you are a family caregiver, this may sound all too familiar. Rest assured, you are not alone. According to a 2009 study by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are 43.5 million family members or friends who provide care for an older adult in need of assistance.
Much as you may love the person you care for, it's still hard work. And the more help they need, the more that falls on your plate.
Could you use help with:
• Bathing and grooming your loved one?
• Managing pain and other distressing symptoms?
• 24-hour phone support for your caregiving questions?
• Advice regarding insurance and other financial assistance?
• Someone to talk to about emotional or spiritual issues?
• Concerns about your loved one's treatment and side effects?
• Assistance with a family meeting?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then you may benefit from our programs. We offer these services and more.
Through our palliative care program, for instance, we offer consultations with professionals who can guide you and your loved one through the difficulties of living day-to-day with a serious illness. You do not have to give up curative care to receive these services.
Through our hospice program, we can send a nurse to your home on a weekly basis to help manage medications and keep your loved one comfortable. Home health aides can visit several times a week to perform the physically demanding tasks of bathing and grooming. We can also have a trained volunteer come out to visit with your loved one for a few hours once a week. This gives you a few hours off to get out of the house, visit with friends, or recharge your own batteries.
Our hospice service is covered 100% by Medicare. Medicare even covers all the expenses related to keeping your loved one comfortable. This includes medications, and other forms of help like physical therapy, a hospital bed, or oxygen dispenser.
All too often, families sign on with hospice very late in the process. The relief they experience is remarkable. They realize how much they have been carrying, and how tired they are. All too often we hear:
"I wish we had known about you sooner!"
Let us do what others can do so you have the energy to give the loving support only a family member can provide.
If you think you or your loved one could benefit from the services described above, give us a call at 602-216-CARE(2273). We would be happy to talk with you, and with your loved one's doctor if you would like.
No one should have to go through this alone. We're here to help.
NOTE: The format of this article and the services listed above are based on the research of Dr. David Casarett. Among other things, he found that listing the benefits first, before mentioning "the H-word" greatly increases patient/family willingness to hear about the service. He also interviewed hospice families a month post-mortem and asked them what services they received from hospice. The bullet list is a paraphrasing of the services and benefits as perceived by the families themselves. Feel free, of course, to modify this text in any way that serves you best. Just know that the structure and descriptions are adapted from the writings of a superb hospice researcher.
— Tasha Beauchamp, MSc,
Webmaster, Research Scientist
Elder Pages Online