Pemi-Baker Hospice & Home Health teams help the Caregiver too!
The holiday season can be a difficult season for family caregivers. When your loved one is living with a serious illness, you want to carry on traditions with friends and family but the grief and responsibility of caring for them can greatly diminish the usual holiday cheer. Spending the holidays with a loved one receiving palliative or hospice care is a balancing act between maintaining traditions and not overstimulating.
Caregiving may include lifting, bathing, delivering meals, taking loved ones to doctor visits, handling difficult behaviors, and managing medications and family conflicts. This level of care can result in lost work hours, high stress, and serious declines in physical and mental health. If you are caring for someone receiving palliative or hospice care, however, it is important to know that the Pemi-Baker team will help you in this challenging role.
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of an illness. As your loved one’s illness advances, they transition into hospice care near the end of life. Pemi-Baker’s goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family during both stages.
Pemi-Baker Hospice & Home Health Caregiver Support
- They will keep you informed. Knowing what to expect can help a caregiver prepare appropriately for the ups and downs of an illness. Families are invited to every meeting so that everyone is on the same page exploring goals, treatment options and pain management.
- They will equip you with practical tools and resources. The Pemi-Baker team will give you tips for taking care of your loved one, connect you with community resources, and make sure that you are able to take care of your own physical and emotional health. Attending Pemi-Baker’s free caregiver support group on the first Wednesday every month will provide you with conversation, education and support.
- They will help you deal with stress too. Your loved one may be feeling frustrated and stressed. You may be feeling the same way. Our specialists take the time to listen to patients and caregivers, to answer their questions, hear their frustrations and help them take the necessary steps to feeling healthier and more focused in their roles.
During the holidays it’s important to continue traditions that are important to your family, however, overstimulating patients with lots of people, sounds and activity can cause your loved one to tire quickly and feel uncomfortable.
Don’t forget to decorate-There’s nothing like favorite lights, cookies baking and ugly sweaters to make someone’s personal space feel more festive.
Celebrate the service– If a religious service is an important part of a patient’s normal celebrations, perhaps the family could celebrate with them by performing a worship at home. As always, you can reach out for spiritual support from our Chaplain, Guy Tillson, MDiv, MA.
Avoid Over-stimulation– Remember that the patient might not be able to keep up with the pace of a regular celebration. The family should make sure that they are not overwhelmed by people who would like to see them, especially since a break in routine can be upsetting for dementia patients.
Prepare for guests-If you are having lots of visitors over to open presents or share memories, you should take steps to ensure that decorations, accommodations and activities don’t interfere with the space, equipment or care that are necessary for patient care.
We should do our best to honor favorite holiday traditions, but remember to ask the patient how they would like you to incorporate their favorite songs, movies and rituals. The patient may prefer a lower key celebration. Whatever you decide, the staff at Pemi-Baker Hospice & Home Health wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Pemi-Baker Hospice & Home Health is a trusted, nonprofit agency proudly serving 29 towns in central and northern NH since 1967. Expert services include at-home healthcare and physical therapies (VNA), hospice and palliative care, and community programs including: American Red Cross CPR/AED/FA, Caregiver and Bereavement Support Groups and Ask A Pemi-Baker Nurse days at your local senior centers. Providing compassionate care with experienced staff who are trained, certified professionals and also your neighbors. In your time of need, we’re right where you need us.
Pemi-Baker is located at 101 Boulder Point Drive, Suite 3, Plymouth, NH. To contact us please call: 603-536-2232 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Like our Facebook Page: @pemibakerhospicehomehealth