SPONSORED CONTENT DECLARATION: This content is brought to you by Nirvana Memorial Garden, Courtesy of their Life Education Series Campaign. This article discusses how we can make it easier for a caregiver caring for a loved one at the last stage of life.
Living the remaining days counting down while suffering from a terminal illness can be harrowing, but with the love, care, and support from caregivers and family members. The journey of end-of-life phase can be less distressing and calm. That being said, this group of people would definitively require assistance and support to better handle the task.
The well-being of the caregiver is paramount in providing the best care for your loved one, and it is often taken for granted that the caregiver is always physically fit and mentally well throughout the entire caregiving period. But when caring for a terminally ill family member becomes a long marathon, it is important that we identify any signs of caregiver fatigue.
According to the 2010-2011 survey on Informal Caregiving, commissioned by the Former Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS). Based on the findings conducted on adults aged 75 and above requiring human assistance with at least one activity of daily living, 45 percent of respondents indicated requirements of help to properly care for an elderly family member.
In the study, It is also highlighted that Daughters (34%), Son (31%), Son/ Daughter in Law (12%), and Spouses (16%) constitutes the majority of (93%) of caregivers, while the remaining 7% are grandchildren, siblings, niece, nephews, friends or other relatives.
Spouses also reported significantly more care hours weekly( 52 hours) than children (36 hours) and others (33 hours) per week. Spouses also report higher stress scores than children when caregiving impacted their schedules and their health.
Caregivers who reported significantly higher stress scores are those facing disrupted schedules, health and financial problems due to caregiving, and in addition, caring for an elderly person with a depressive symptom.Here are 3 tips to make it easier for yourself while caring for a loved one at the last stage of life.
- Many Hands Makes it Easier.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, do not shoulder everything on your own. Seek out family members, relatives, friends, and neighbors to lend you a hand. Have your neighbor be on a watch out while you make a quick trip to grab groceries, or a relative to take in shifts to help tend to the household chores, repair works or accompany loved ones on medical appointments so that you could catch a breather on Saturday to recharge. A good network of support can do you wonders. Delegating duties does not make you less competent or less filial, but gives you more space and time to sort your emotions and recharge. After all, rest is a preparatory step for a long journey ahead.
2. Attending training or Support Groups.
A support group can help you better cope when someone has experiences in similar situations and can help alleviate certain stress or issues you are facing. Going for training programs that cater to patients with a terminal illness can help you get tips on medication management, mobility issues, and even measures on how to prevent bedsores, bathe patients, and prevent falls. Either in your own community or online, meeting other caregivers can relieve your sense of isolation and will give you a chance to exchange stories and ideas.
3. Importance of practicing Self Care.
Caring for terminally ill loved ones does not mean neglecting yourself. The process of caring can take a toll on you both physically and mentally in the long run. It is thus important that you pay conscious attention to your own health and well-being. Maintaining a well-balanced social life with regular respite from caregiving dues. In addition, having a balanced diet and thoroughly planned finances can help boost mood and energy and put your mind at ease.
Caregiving demands differ for every care recipient. When you feel you cannot cope, always sound out and remember to seek help from others.