Are you a caregiver or a family member taking care of your loved one? Have they been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness? The interdisciplinary hospice team provides comfort care to patients most commonly diagnosed with the following: heart disease, CHF, COPD, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, renal failure, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, and liver disease. The position of being a caregiver comes with many challenges that we can help you with. Hospice of Southern Illinois provides assistance, guidance, and support to caregivers helping another individual with a terminal illness. You are not in this alone and there is help.
Keeping Loved Ones Safe During the Pandemic
As an organization dedicated to providing exceptional care to the communities we serve, our uncompromising priority right now at Hospice of Southern Illinois is protecting those in our care, our team members, patients and families, and our community partners from exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19). Here’s what you can expect from us:
- Follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Plenty of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies
- Increased education for families in their home or home-like setting
- Addition of telehealth services when face-to-face visits are not effective
Knowing What To Expect With Hospice Care
Home is where the heart is.
- Expert care in the home for your loved one’s comfort and dignity
- Specialized pain and symptom management
- Regularly scheduled nursing visits by the hospice team
- On-call support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Hospice aide services to assist with personal care
- Emotional and spiritual support from our social services team
- Grief support
- Necessary medical equipment for comfort
- Collaboration with home care providers
- Awareness of signs of a loved one’s changing condition (i.e. decreased interest in eating and drinking, withdraw from surroundings, increased sleep, less energy, increased shortness of breath)
Importance of Self Care for Caregivers
One of the most important rules for the caregiver is to take care of yourself too.
- Eat Right – the patient may not have an appetite or may not want to eat “good, well-balanced” meals, but you should.
- Get Some Rest – if you become worn down and exhausted, you won’t be in any condition to care for the patient. Have others take a night or two with your loved one. Sleep when your loved one sleeps. Try to nap when they nap.
- Take a Break – sometimes you just need to get away. Even if it’s only for a couple of hours, do it. You are working very hard. You deserve a little “down-time” too!
- Respite Care – a social worker is available to explain and coordinate options for respite care. This is helpful when needing a short break from caregiving, planning, medical emergencies, and day-to-day activities. If more caregiving assistance is needed overall, the social worker can educate you about your options.
When To Ask For Help
At any time during a life-limiting illness, it is appropriate to discuss all of your loved one’s healthcare options, including hospice. Hospice of Southern Illinois is available to answer questions without obligation.
It’s okay to ask for help. Call Hospice of Southern Illinois at 800-233-1708 and find out how we can help you as you care for your loved one’s needs. We want to support you.