Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Coping with Caregiving


Submitted by Beacon of Hope Hospice

Attending to the elderly and
terminally ill is a noble responsibility. As you prepare to assist a
friend or family member through hospice care, you should first come to
terms with the fact that it can be stressful as well as rewarding. It is
a wonderful thing to make a difference in someone else’s life. However,
sometimes bodily exhaustion and inability to control the situation may
become a heavy physical and mental burden. There are some practical ways
you can combat the difficulties of the task to ensure that you are able
to maintain equilibrium of body and spirit.

First, take time for
yourself each week. Leave the house and elude caregiving duties for a
little while. Request a hospice volunteer to give you a break. Do
whatever you need to do to renew your energy level; some of us need
social interaction and some of us need solitude.
Also, don’t take on
the full weight of the burden of caregiving alone. Accept offers of
assistance from family or friends, and ask for help when you need it.
Trying to do everything yourself will result in stress and frustration
and won’t allow you to have the quality time you desire with the loved
one you are assisting.

It is sometimes helpful to look for support
groups for those in your same situation, whether in the community or
online. It is always comforting to know that you are not the only one
going through difficult circumstances. In addition, seek out social
interaction with friends who have other interests in common — it is a
relief to take a little time to talk about something completely
unrelated to caregiving.
Take time for a little exercise each day.
Just a short walk or a little stretching can help to clear your head and
revive your energy. It is also important to eat and sleep on as regular
a schedule as possible.

Most importantly, sincerely evaluate how you
are doing. Be straightforward with those who are concerned about you,
and admit when you are stressed or overwhelmed. Reach out when you need
help. The hospice professionals are the experts who can guide you in
what’s best for both you and your loved one.

To learn more, please visit www.BeaconofHopeHospice.org or call 1-888-932-2732.