Masonic Village Hospice understands caring for a critically ill loved one can be challenging. The whole family feels the effects of an advanced illness. Families need attention as much as the patient. Our team is open to supporting your whole family. We will manage pain, help your loved one feel comfortable and help you understand what to expect and how to care for yourself during this difficult time.
Remember, there is no “perfect handbook” to help caregivers. Take you and your loved one’s journey with hospice one step and one day at a time. Depending on your personal situation, Hospice may provide you with a list of medications, equipment and supplies and nutrition tips for your loved one. Our Admission Welcome Guide is also designed to provide information about our care and to address caregivers’ frequently asked questions and concerns.
Ways you can take care of yourself during you and your loved one’s hospice journey:
- Practice journaling.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Exercise regularly (activities like a quick walk in nature can relieve stress).
- Get a massage.
- Try to get adequate sleep, which can include napping.
- Treat yourself with a facial, manicure or pedicure.
- Participate in your favorite hobby.
- Take a day or weekend trip to a favorite place.
- Practice meditation or prayer.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Make a favorite recipe.
- Read a book or watch your favorite movie or TV show.
- Utilize your support network of friends and family to talk about your feelings.
- Join a local support group (Hospice can provide resources).
- Ask for and accept help when you need it from friends, family, clergy and health care professionals like Hospice team members.
- Write down questions/concerns as they arise.
- Take a deep breath and a minute or longer to let out your emotions: cry, scream and/or laugh.
- Don’t forget to be patient and kind to yourself.
Caregivers may experience guilt when taking time for themselves. Just remember, you must care for yourself in order to best care for a loved one. It can also be therapeutic for you to involve your loved one in your own self-care. For example, look at and share photos with your loved one, or engage in a life-review and share memories with them. This may help reduce your stress and improve your state of mind.