Providing care for someone you love in the Glendale area or elsewhere can be a responsibility as well as an honor. While he or she could easily consider relocating to an assisted living facility or hiring someone with formal medical or nursing training to be their in-home caregiver, it can be considered a privilege that they have specifically requested your help.
In some cases, the caregiving duties will be temporary, such as helping someone recover from surgery or rehabilitate from a fall or injury for a period of a few weeks or months. Or in other cases, it could be a longer-term commitment with the possibility of you being there until their death, especially if they are already in poor health or have received a diagnosis of a terminal health condition.
The team at Accredited Home Care provides the services of short-term and long-term caregivers based on a client’s needs and health situation. We also are happy to work with and support a client’s personal caregivers, such as checking in a few times a week or providing advanced home health care or nursing services that personal caregivers may not know much about or have received the training for. Plus Accredited Home Care also can provide access to other services and health care professionals, such as massage therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
We’re also very understanding about caregivers who are eager to help but know that they may not be as comfortable or as experienced as we are about dealing with the topic of death.
We’ve been providing home health care to thousands of Southern California residents for more than 20 years. Some of our staff have been with us for years, so we are definitely familiar with the process of dying and the challenges that friends and family can face when a loved one is at the end of their life.
Every situation is a little different, but we know it’s never easy emotionally to deal with death. Our team has had training and experience, but it can be frightening or at least uncertain for those who are dealing with it for the first time.
Basically, caregivers wanting to avoid these types of situations – or at least feel more prepared to deal with an upcoming death – can take steps to learn more about it as well as work on building their emotional strength. It’s never easy to lose someone you have a connection with, but with some preparation and guidance, you can learn ways to approach death a little differently and be better equipped to ease your loved one through the process. After all, they might be scared and unsure as well and may benefit from your presence.
One of the best ways to learn more about death is to talk to others about it or perform your own research or studies. Some options can include:
- Find a support group. Your local medical community likely has regular groups of people who are going through what you’re going through, whether it’s fellow caregivers or people dealing with grief you might find strength and also sympathy. Being around a group that provides care can offer all sorts of solidarity and common experiences. Some of them may have provided care for a loved one who passed away so they may be able to offer you some advice about what you could experience or at least what they felt. This kind of group also can offer other strategies and insight into the grieving process and the dying process.
- Talk to the person you’re providing care for. You can take cues from them on what they’re feeling and see how it relates to what you’re feeling. You may be scared and they may be relaxed or even curious about what’s ahead, or vice versa. But they certainly would appreciate someone to listen to them at such a crucial time, and a caregiver is in an excellent position to do this. Death is such an unknown that many people enjoy discussing possibilities. Or, if someone follows a certain faith tradition, they may feel better or more confident about what’s ahead and might want to talk about this. In these situations, it’s almost courtesy to let them wonder and not share your opinion unless it’s asked for. It could be potentially crushing if you express a different viewpoint than the person you’re providing care for unless it’s part of a theoretical discussion where no one knows the correct answer.
- Find an expert in death for support. A priest or member of the clergy might be able to give you – and the person you’re providing care for – some insight into their view of death. Many faiths offer good things in an afterlife, which can provide some hope for those worried about how they led their life or what kind of judgment they’ll face.
- Talk to the funeral home. The business providing services may have information about grief/death resources.
Overall, death can be unfortunate to be part of, but it could be a wonderful experience.