Category Archives: Hospice caregivers

The Physical Effect of Caregiving

About two-thirds of all family caregivers are women. It’s these tender souls who give up much in order to take care of those they love who are on their final journey in life. It’s also these gentle souls, and maybe you are one of them, who tend to put all their energy into taking care of everyone else and fail to take care of their own physical needs. Let’s look at some statistics: –  Female caregivers experience higher levels of depression and anxiety and also a lower level of general wellbeing than their male counterparts. –  Twenty-two percent of female caregivers go to bed exhausted. –  More than 1 in 5 women fail to get their regular mammograms on time. –  Due to increased stress, 21 percent of all caregivers have a higher abuse level of alcohol and prescription drugs. –  Female caregivers are more likely to smoke or consume

As Children Become Caregivers

Human nature dictates that we often experience child-parent struggles. The blurring of identities as our parents advance in age and we become their caregivers frequently intensifies these struggles. This can create tremendous strain on our ability to manage the day-to-day stresses of these new roles. But there are some relatively simple ways to handle the changes in your relationship and make the transition easier on you both. Simply stopping and counting to 10 before responding to your parent will afford you precious seconds to calm yourself and potentially avoid an unnecessary argument. Those moments of deep breathing and hesitation can also give you an opportunity to more fully understand your reactions to stresses in your relationship. This, in turn, will help you transform your fight-or-flight instincts into more positive responses that can ultimately strengthen and deepen your bond with your parent. If your parent has a tendency to use verbal

Looking Back at a Successful Year

by Ann Carney Pomper, Executive Director From time to time, a responsible organization must review and revise its mission, vision, and values to accurately represent its services and the needs of its constituents. During this past year, Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s Board of Directors and executive staff undertook this important task. The resulting intentions, shown on the cover of our newly-released 2009-10 Annual Report, emphasize a long-held ideal—that patients and families are the driving force behind their end-of-life decisions. This concept has been, and will continue to be, foundational to every aspect of HSCC’s programming as we strive to honor the wishes of our community members with the utmost integrity and professionalism. HSCC’s dedicated staff and volunteers provided a record breaking 46,726 days of hospice care during 2009/10 all the while maintaining performance standards that have surpassed state and national benchmarks. Stringent MediCare guidelines for participation were met, thereby securing 90%

Helping a Friend Who Is a Caregiver to a Hospice Patient

By Linda Donovan, Grief Support Volunteer, Hospice of Santa Cruz County Someone you know may suddenly be thrust into the role of a caregiver to a loved one who has become a hospice patient. You may be asking these questions: How do you help your friend at this critical time? How can you provide the best assistance without being intrusive? What can you do to assist your friend in coping with her added responsibilities? Here are some strategies to consider: 1. Make it known that you are available to provide assistance and recommend specific ways you can help. Don’t expect the caregiver to have a long list of things for you to do, or even to know what could be delegated. She may be so overwhelmed that it’s too much effort to even think about the ways people can provide assistance to her. If that’s the case, make a few