The work of being the primary caregiver for someone who is seriously ill or on hospice can feel like a roller coaster. There are times when it feels like a gift to share special moments together, but there are also times when the stress of managing appointments, medications, and personal care can be overwhelming. It is important to learn the signs of when caregiver stress crosses over to become caregiver burnout. AccentCare Hospice recognizes how serious caregiver burnout can be and we are here to help.
What we'd like you to know:
- Caregiver burnout is when the primary caregiver for a seriously ill or hospice patient experiences mental or physical distress due to their caregiving duties.
- AccentCare has ways we can support caregivers experiencing burnout via:
- Staggering visits
- Arranging for trained hospice volunteers to provide comfort and companionship
- Using the hospice respite level of care for up to five days if the patient is eligible to allow the caregiver to rest
- Caregivers should know the signs of burnout and prioritizing their own health.
Holistic Care for the Whole Family
We care for the entire family. It is important to our organization that we wrap our arms fully around everyone involved in your loved one’s story to partner on this journey. You are not alone.
Our team of health care professionals is trained to support caregivers in processing emotions, talking about fears, and being fully present to hear how your family has been impacted by illness. Your needs are just as important to us as your loved one’s.
Respite care is short-term facility-based care where a hospice patient can be transported to a facility for care at no cost to to the patient or family so that their primary caregiver has a chance to rest. Medicare covers respite care for no more than five consecutive days per respite period. This care is provided on an occasional basis and the patient returns to their home once the respite care period has concluded. Any number of situations may necessitate respite care:
- Caregiver feels if he/she had relief of caregiving responsibilities for a short time, the caregiver could resume or continue caring for the beneficiary at home again.
- Caregiver is temporarily unable to provide care to a beneficiary because of personal illness.
- Caregiver needs to go out of town overnight.
Medicare has guidelines for the use of respite hospice care and you can access them here.
Questions to ask your Hospice Care Team about Caregiver Burnout
- Tell me about the emotional and mental health support available to me while I am caregiving and/or anticipating my loved one’s changing condition.
- What feelings are normal to have?
- What happens when my feelings are unsafe?
- Please explain the Medicare hospice benefit and the four levels of care – including possibilities for respite care. What would this look like for my loved one and our family?
- What training can I receive to make caring for my loved one safer and easier?
- Are there tools like calendars and to-do lists that can help me prioritize my caregiving responsibilities?