Hospice is “patient and family centered” care. The goal of hospice is to relieve the patient’s pain and other symptoms, and to assist caregivers as they help to provide the best practical and supportive care possible.
Caregivers who have helped a loved one through the end-of-life journey understand that it changes you. As a caregiver you go through the physical and emotional ups and downs of the illness or disease along with your loved one. You will listen, support, encourage, comfort and help in countless ways. The experience may be the most intense of your life but also one that can bring a deep sense of joy and satisfaction knowing you have helped make your loved one’s last days happier and more peaceful. Remember that hospice is not about giving up hope, but of changing what it is hoped for – such as quality of life, special times with family and friends, or a peaceful death.
At Merrimack Valley Hospice, we understand the critical role that caregivers play in hospice care and we will help and guide you every step of the way. Some ways we can help include:
- Teach you techniques to help make your job easier
- Provide equipment that may ease some burdens such as a hospital bed or wheelchair
- Offer hospice aides to assist with personal care and light housekeeping
- Give instruction on how to administer medications, change dressings and position your loved one for comfort
- Provide bereavement and grief support for 2 years after the death of your loved one
Other useful websites include: