Caring for someone at the end of life can be deeply rewarding, but it can also cause distress. If caregiver stress is not addressed, it can put your health at risk and can affect your ability to provide care. Most hospice caregivers experience feelings of frustration, isolation, and sadness at times, so take steps to ensure your own wellness.
When you are overwhelmed, ask for, or hire, outside help so you can get away and recharge for a few hours. Give yourself permission to go to a movie, see friends, or simply take a walk outside.
Find and connect with the meaning behind why you are doing all that you do.
Make a list of daily priorities and keep your goals realistic.
Accept help when it’s offered. Have a list of tasks available that others could easily do, like grocery shopping. Ask a family member, friend, or volunteer to help you spread status updates and coordinate with other family members on a regular basis (i.e., daily, weekly).
Reach out to friends, family, religious, and community organizations or join a support group. Ask your hospice team for recommendations in your area.
Eat right, exercise, and rest. Avoid using alcohol, medications or drugs, cigarettes, or food to cope. Don’t skip medical appointments. Caregivers need to stay healthy to care for others.
The VNSNY Hospice Care team is here to support you and can coordinate resources for maintaining your health and wellness.
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