The caregiver for a hospice patient is the person who provides the additional care for the hospice patient outside the care of the hospice nurses, health aides, doctors, therapists, and volunteers,
The caregiver may be:
Every situation is different because every patient and family is different. However, similarities do exist, and it will be helpful to learn about other families and how they have coped with caring for a dying loved one.
It is a challenge to take care of a person, especially if this person is a close family member or friend, and especially if this person is dying. Death is a human experience that everyone must face at one time or another, but that does not mean that everyone is well-equipped to "deal with it". It takes a great deal of physical stamina, mental fortitude, and emotional forgiveness to be the caregiver for a dying family member.
Just because you are a person's caregiver does not mean you are automatically endowed with nerves of steel and a perfect intuition for what the patient needs. Every change in patient condition results in a change in the caregiver's situation, and this requires a large amount of flexibility, forgiveness, humility, and compassion on either side of the patient/caregiver equation.
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The caregiver is an integral part of the hospice care team. The caregiver is the person or persons who sees the patient daily, and provides the personal care that is needed by the patient.
The care giving duties should not rest solely with one person. The duties can be very intensive if the patient requires maximum assistance.
Some physical care the caregiver may be responsible for:
Some emotional care the caregiver may be responsible for:
It is impossible to provide strict guidelines for how a non-hired caregiver is to act beyond being a compassionate and loving person who is there for the patient.