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End of Life Caregiving

Being Prepared continued...

End-of-Life Care
Hospice is end-of-life care that involves a team-oriented approach to quality medical care, pain and symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to your loved ones needs. Hospice is available to anyone who has a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice provides medical equipment and medications related to terminal illness. Support is given to you as the caregiver, including counselors to talk to, nurses and aides to teach you how to provide hands-on care, volunteers to help lighten your load and non-denominational chaplains to aide with any spiritual distress.

Community Resources
In addition to hospice, there may be other community resources that can help you and your loved one. Your Area Agency on Aging, Department of Human Services, and other organizations may offer services to ease your burden. These may include meals on wheels, caregiver training classes, transportation, friendly visitors and respite care so that you can have a break.

Preparing the Home
It is important to prepare the place where the ill person lives to ensure that they are safe and comfortable. Is there room for any special equipment that may be needed such as a walker, or commode? Are there special needs for the bathroom or bedroom needed to make living easier for the person?

Caregiving for someone at the end of life can be a challenging, but rewarding experience. Learning about the complex needs of the person you are caring for and the resources that can help will be important steps for you to take to prepare you for being a caregiver. Caregiving at the end of life may bring about many different feelings-it will important for you to care for yourself and ask for help when you need it.

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WebMD Medical Reference from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

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