“The role of caregiver; a burden or a blessing?”

Denise Stancill, Director of Business Development, Hospice of Holland Inc.

Some view the role of being a caregiver a blessing; an opportunity to nurture and care for a loved one during their time of need. To them it is more than just the act of caregiving; it is an act of love.

Hospice providers see many family members who share this perspective. They assume the role of caregiver for a dying loved one and feel blessed to be a part of the experience. As they sit at the bedside, and participate in many aspects of their loved ones care, they often are part of very sacred moments that occur during their loved ones final days. They view it as a privilege, a way to honor their loved one, and an important part of the hospice experience all around.

Hospice providers also walk alongside many family members who view the role of caregiving as a burden. When they assume the role, they feel challenged about how to facilitate or perform personal cares and assist with the daily needs their loved one requires. For them it feels foreign and awkward. They fear the unknown; what to expect in the final days. Being a caregiver can be a time commitment amidst already busy schedules that some cannot easily fulfill. When difficulties of challenging family dynamics exist, it all can make caregiving feel like a heavy load to bear.

Families recommend hospice because they know:

  • The hospice care team will meet them where they are and whatever their role: spouse, sibling, child, good friend and/or caregiver.
  • Hospice professionals teach loved ones important aspects of care so they may experience more confidence when in the role of caregiver for a loved one.
  • The assigned hospice team is always just a phone call away and willing to support the caregiver when questions arise, even at 2:15 a.m. in the morning.
  • Hospice allows individuals who want to have a primary role in the care of their loved one to do so and supports those who prefer more support from the assigned care team.
  • Hospice caregivers are equipped to oversee all aspects of a loved ones Plan of Care and are able to step in as needed when caregiving feels like a burden.
  • Hospice knows that not all relationships are whole, not every person has family or a support structure in place and not everyone is comfortable in the role of caregiver.
  • Hospice respects the patient-to-caregiver relationship and seeks to honor the end-of-life wishes of each patient and their loved ones.

Families benefit from hospice care. In addition to the care of their loved one, they know their need for support as a caregiver will be met. This is why family members recommend hospice.

For more information about Hospice of Holland programs and services, to make a referral, or for answers to your questions about hospice care, please call 616.396.2972. View www.hollandhospice.org and hear from others why care from Hospice of Holland made a difference for their loved one.