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Support for You and Your Loved One

Young woman hugs senior woman in wheelchairOur palliative care team recognizes that the patient is not the only one affected by a chronic or life-limiting illness – caregivers shoulder a portion of that load, as well. That is why we offer support and services to loved ones and caregivers.

You will be at your best for your loved one if you are taking time to also care for yourself. Everyone manages stress differently, so find the way that works best for you – whether that is physical exercise, talking to a counselor or taking some quiet time for yourself.

Male patient in hospital bed being comforted by wife

Engaging Care to Fit Your Comfort Level

We recognize that not all caregivers or family members are comfortable with the requirements of physical care. However, being able to provide a loving touch and physical support can be very comforting. You may want to simply sit quietly and hold your loved one’s hand. Feel free to talk to your loved one and let them know you are near. Your presence at this time is a wonderful gift to them, and a precious memory for you.

Each patient is different. A loved one may exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms during their treatment. If at any time you would like to participate in your loved one’s care, ask the nurse for guidance.

Active Senior Sportswoman Tying Shoelace and Getting Ready For a Run

For your own physical self-care:

  • Take care of yourself physically by having a check-up with your primary care provider.
  • Don’t force yourself to eat more than you want. As your appetite returns, focus on eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Get some exercise, even a peaceful, quiet walk. Physical exercise helps you relax.
  • It may be helpful to give up caffeine as a way to reduce anxiety.
  • Beware of alcohol, which is a depressant, and may interrupt normal sleep patterns.
  • Do your best to maintain balance in your life by taking breaks and asking for help when needed.
elderly woman hugging her husband

For your own emotional self-care:

  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Although you may often feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that the feelings you are experiencing are normal.
  • Reach out to others. Find a friend or loved one who has gone through a similar experience, or reach out to a counselor.
  • Remember and celebrate good memories of your loved one.
  • You may or may not cry often, but when you do, realize it is therapeutic.
  • Become familiar with the normal experiences of grieving and be willing to engage in your own grief work. Be aware that people grieve in different ways.
  • Be aware of being critical of yourself, either consciously or unconsciously, due to unrealistic expectations.

Have Questions?

If you have questions about different support options during this time, please contact the Palliative Hospice Care Coordinator at 740-687-8654.