A Caregiver’s Role in Hospice Care

When it comes to hospice care, it is important to recognize the beauty and dignity of the life of the patient. A caregiver’s role is to keep the patient both active and provided for while also remaining in touch with the family and nurses.

Assisting in Everyday Tasks

A caregiver provides support for everyday tasks. These tasks include bathing, feeding, getting dressed, transferring from room to room, etc. They also may be asked to provide basic medical attention for the patient. This includes taking the patient’s temperature, checking blood pressure, diabetes monetization, or simple wound care if needed. The caregiver then reports any change in condition to the hospice nurse as soon as it occurs.

Listening to the Patient

Besides providing general care for the patient, providing a listening ear is just as important. A caregiver should be comfortable talking about the truth of the situation at hand. When comforting a patient who is being treated for a terminal illness, listening is key. It is the role of the caregiver to hear the needs of the patient. Sometimes, they may request end of life wishes or plans. The caregiver should listen to and provide the means of accommodating the patient when these needs are voiced.

Sometimes, the wishes of the patient may not necessarily be in line with what the family wants or what the caregiver believes is best. However, it is the role of the caregiver to provide comfort. They also ensure that the needs of the patient are heard and valued.

While listening to the patient, a caregiver provides support in creating the best experience possible as patients reflect on their lives. Some patients may want to write their own obituaries and do not have the means of doing so. The caregiver should aid in the writing process while the patient shares their experiences.

Caring for Family and Self

The caregiver should also provide support for the other family members in this transition period. Sometimes, family members will have a hard time grasping the change, so reactions may seem ill hearted or confused. It is the role of the caregiver to listen to and reassure the family members that hospice care is provided to help keep the patient as comfortable and happy as possible for as long as possible.

The caregiver is expected to take care of the patient and family. However, he/she should also remember to take care of themselves. This journey is emotionally draining for all parties involved. By taking care of personal needs, the caregiver is more equipped to take care of the needs of the family and patient. Here are some tips on caring for caregivers.

Overall, a caregiver’s role is important when taking care of a loved one in hospice care. From providing general support to offering a listening ear, their assistance in a tough transition period for the patient and their family is both comforting and necessary. At Family Hospice, our main goal is to support the patient along with their family. If you or a loved one is in need of hospice care, you can find us online at www.familyhospice.org or contact us at (618) 277-1800.


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Belleville, IL

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