In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, for a limited time, multiple local and national businesses are showing support to those on the front lines of the pandemic, with free or discounted food, beverages, coffee, and more.
During hospice care, patients and their loves ones are often aware the end is near, but it does not make it any less difficult for family members to accept. Many friends and family, even caregivers, are afraid of saying the wrong thing. They do not want to make a bad impression or seem insensitive. However, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself. The end may be near, so now is the time to show how much you care.
The holidays are about spending time with and appreciating those closest to you, but anyone caring for patients knows that the holidays can also come with their share of grief for patients and caregivers alike. Here are some strategies to help make it through the holidays yourself – while also lifting the spirits of patients and their families.
As a hospice or palliative care nurse, you know that you have a challenging and rewarding job. Helping people with quality care in the final stages of life is among the most important jobs of all. Not only can you support the person in need of care, but you can also provide comfort and happiness to friends and family members.
While many hospice professionals focus on patients’ physical and psychological needs, spiritual care often rests with a highly skilled and compassionate member of the caregiving team: The chaplain.
Mindfulness, the act of focusing on being in the present, is sometimes thought of as a type of meditation. Recent studies show that practicing Mindfulness can be an effective strategy for both patients and caregivers, including volunteers. By shifting the focus of hospice and palliative care away from states of emotional, mental, or physical distress – it can help reduce pain and anxiety. A growing number of hospice organizations are beginning to integrate these exercises into patient care and caregiver support.
The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) has been referred to as the unsung hero of hospice care. Their role, as part of the hospice or palliative care team, is crucial. Under the supervision of a RN (Registered Nurse), CNAs and Home Health Aides provide daily care to enhance a patient’s daily life, wellness and dignity – which includes essential and basic tasks, such as:
When caring for patients, hospice care providers are concerned with patients’ physical needs as well as their emotional well-being. One way to improve a patient’s mood is to schedule a visit with a therapy pet. Whether it’s a cat, dog or a different animal altogether, therapy pets can enter a room and immediately make it a brighter, happier place to be.
The end of a person’s life is a unique experience that has a great impact on the person, his or her family, and their family legacy. Social workers bring to the team particular skills in working with families from varying cultures and socio-economic status. Their training helps them relate to people within a social and cultural context. The social worker can also identify resources, beyond the health care system, which may help the family cope with situations involving life-limiting illness, dying, grief and bereavement.
Both Palliative Care and Hospice Care are meant to provide comfort and relief, but they differ in some important ways. This infographic, which can be shared and embedded on your own website, illustrates the key differences.