What is Caregiving?
Caregiving is provided by a diverse group of individuals to patients who can no longer manage their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) or suffering from a cognitive decline. It can be temporary or last longer until the individual succumbs to their decline which can be years later.
Caregiving requires more than just physical work. It means being the patient’s health advocate, speaking up for patient’s needs and goals of care with your medical team. It also means you understand what the patient’s wishes are and learning what it means to die with dignity. Caregiving is extremely stressful and challenging work and most people do not have formal training or education on how to perform these tasks.
Most caregivers are uncomfortable with the type of work and discussions they are performing. They however understand that what they do is needed for their loved one and accept and adapt to ever changing needs of the patient. Caregivers are foced to deal with change and learn to balance the needs of the patient as well as their own personal needs. Education is the key to alleviating anxiety and improving overall patient and caregiver satisfaction. After all, would you not want to know what to do if something happened? This reason is why as an organization, Lenity Light Hospice is committed to education.
Caregiving is stressful and will challenge you in ways you did not think were possible. It will drain you of your energy and may strain your relationships with others as they feel they are being neglected. Finances may become a problem and emotions will always be involved leading to tension between the caregiver and other family/friends. It can lead to loneliness and isolation. Caregivers silently do what they must because of the immense love they possess while grieving silently for the loss of independence in their own lives. It is not uncommon to see caregivers struggling with depression, sadness and pain as they hang on to hopes for normalcy of their own lives.