Providing palliative or hospice care to ailing sick or aging family members is difficult at best. It takes a collaborate effort of doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, social workers, family members and others in the medical profession to provide the level of care that is needed to ensure the patient is comfortable and without pain. November is Family Caregiver’s Month and it is the time to recognize all those who strive to provide care and comfort to those who are ill or approaching the end of their life.
Family Caregivers Month Theme
There are several themes to recognize the important work provided by caregivers whether it’s in providing hospice or palliative care. Some of these themes are:
- National Hospice/Palliative Care Month theme is My Hospice: A Program That Works. A Benefit That Matters.
- National Family Caregiver’s Month theme is Supercharge Your Caregiving.
National Home Health Care Month is also celebrated in November. The themes are aimed at highlighting the tireless efforts and hard work of all those responsible for ensuring that optimal care is provided while making comfort a priority.
Things To Know About Hospice And Home Care
A person who is terminally ill needs specialized care focused on providing comfort and taking measures to control pain. This can often include someone with cancer, kidney failure or other terminal illness. When someone is terminally ill, there is no hope that they will recover and regain their health. Therefore, it’s necessary to have a support system and healthcare team in place to ensure they are comfortable during the last days of their life. When possible, a person will often choose to go home to spend their last days peacefully and surrounded by loved ones. A hospice team will be assembled to provide in-home care. Medications will be given as needed to provide comfort and to control pain. The hospice team usually consists of:
- Doctor or physician assistant
- Registered nurse
- Nurse’s aide
- Social worker
Nothing provides comfort more than loved ones, but hospice provides a support system not only for the sick one, but also for the family members. A pastor, who is a part of hospice, is available to pray with the family and provide comfort.
Ways To Honor Caregivers
Caregivers work tirelessly to take care of the sick. From making appointments to giving medications and everything in between, caregivers are an integral component when it comes to ensuring a patient is getting the compassionate care they need. A few ways to show your appreciation and honor caregivers are to:
- Assemble a care packet for a caregiver. You can include items such as antimicrobial hand soap, germicidal bleach wipes, non-latex gloves, disinfectant spray, and hand sanitizer. A care packet that may be useful for home health aides is a bed bath kit. You can include a step-by-step guide to giving a bed bath, non-latex gloves, no-rinse shampoo, bath wipes, moisturizing lotion, and hand sanitizer.
- Get involved in what caregivers do each day. You can volunteer your time and spend a day doing what caregivers do. Caregivers have a lot of responsibilities and often a short time in which to complete their duties. By volunteering some of your time, you can lessen their load.
- Show honor to the caregivers in your life by hosting a public event. You can hold a luncheon for caregivers to give them thanks for all they do. You could also run an advertisement in the local paper to recognize those who are providing special care to your loved one.
While November is the designated month to show special honor to all the health care providers who work so hard, these special people should be honored at all times.