You have found this page because you are either caring for a HWC patient yourself, you know someone who is or you think you may be a caregiver at some time in the future.
If you already are enrolled in Hospice of Washington County, then you know all the supportive services we offer, including a Social Worker assigned to your loved one and your family. But, as wonderful as our supportive services are, that is not the same as being there with you day in and day out. You have a very difficult and very important job, taking care of an ill loved one. Hopefully, in this role, you are also finding some satisfaction and some inner strengths you didn’t even know you had.
Much is required of you……hands on care, medication administration, preparation of meals (sometimes special meals), personal care, providing emotional support, financial tasks and on and on. Over the years, we at Hospice have spoken with many, many caregivers, some feeling stressed out and wondering how much longer they can do this job. However, we’ve never spoken to a caregiver who ever regretted giving this kind of special love and caring, once their loved one had died.
Your team is here to listen, encourage, advise and support you. Even when we say to a caregiver, ‘You’re going a great job,” the frequent answer is, “Well, I’m trying.” That’s all you have to do…is try. Your effort alone is a priceless gift to the patient. Below are some links to resources on the internet. We encourage you to try them. Also, when a friend asks “What can I do to help?”, have a ready answer. People ask because they really DO want to help, but don’t know what to do. Ask them to run to the grocery store for you or pull some weeds or take something to the post office. It will take a little off your shoulders and make them feel good about themselves.
Most of all, remember that even though you have a hard task ahead of you, many people have gone before you. You are not alone. There are support groups, both in person and on line. Your team is behind you. Friends and neighbors care and want to help. Above all, be gentle with yourself. If you don’t feel great about today, just shake it off and remember tomorrow is another day.
On-line resources and links: