It’s not easy taking care of a hospice patient in a home setting. Sometimes, caregivers suffer from physical or emotional exhaustion from taking care of a loved one around the clock. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance between supporting a loved one in hospice and tending to the rest of your life and responsibilities. Don’t give up activities that are important to you, such as your work or your hobbies. To prevent burnout, here are some tips for hospice caregivers.
With the warmer seasons come more opportunities to get outdoors for some fresh air. Take in the sights and sounds. Meditate and focus on just breathing. Do something you enjoy and make it a priority to regularly socialize with others. Don’t let yourself become cooped up and isolated.
Caring for others can sometimes be at the expense of caring for ourselves. Often, the health of a hospice caregiver can take a hit. Something as simple as taking a 15-minute walk every day can be extremely beneficial. If it’s possible, you can even bring along your loved one for the journey. If you want to kick it up a notch, consider taking a fitness class or signing up for a local race.
Sleeping well is crucial to avoiding exhaustion and burnout. Beyond getting a good night’s rest, taking short breaks when needed is necessary and can be arranged through the help of family members, neighbors or even a hospice volunteer. Use the respite to catch up on errands, do an activity that makes you happy or simply relax.
Reach out for support
Find support groups in your community for those going through similar experiences. If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, seek out professional resources that allow you to express how you’re feeling. Hospice of Southwest Ohio is here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide information or to answer any questions you may have about hospice care. Call us anytime at (513) 770-0820.
Use respite care
Respite care offers relief for caregivers when they need additional support. It provides relatives with a temporary rest from caregiving, while the patient continues to receive care in a safe environment. By using respite care, you’ll be better able to care for your loved one when you take the time to care for yourself.
Caregivers use respite care for a variety of reasons including to:
- Attend an event such as a graduation or wedding
- Travel for work or for leisure
- Take a short break
- Recover from an illness
- Avoid exhaustion and burnout
At Hospice of Southwest Ohio, our nurses and social workers are available for short-term respite care in our Madeira Care Center or in nursing facilities. Respite care in our Care Center is offered for a five-day period. The room and board during those five days is covered by Medicare each month. Learn more about respite care at HSWO.