Caregiver Tips

We thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the care of your loved one. Caring for a person at the end of life is one of the most important jobs you will ever do and because it is so important, it can be stressful. Most caregivers can feel overwhelmed at some point. Hospice of the Piedmont is dedicated to working with you as a team, to help you manage your responsibilities and enable you to best use your time, energy, and resources.

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Caring for your loved one

1) Learn as much as you can about the illness. The more you know, the less anxiety you’ll
have and the more effective you will be. Ask your Hospice of the Piedmont nurse to
explain symptoms you are seeing and to tell you about what to expect.

2) Trust your instincts. Remember, you probably know your loved one best. Tell your
Hospice of the Piedmont team when you have a concern

3) Encourage your loved one’s independence. Caregiving does not mean doing
everything for your loved one. It is important to allow someone to be in control and stay
active as long as possible.

4) Encourage your loved one to make decisions and stay involved in decision making as
long as possible.

5) Allow your loved one to talk. Listen without judgment and with only occasional
comment. There is no greater gift than that of your complete attention.

6) Avoid judging and do not take negative comments or feelings personally.

7) Sitting quietly with your loved one is important. Even when no one is talking, there is

8) Don’t underestimate pain, fear, and other symptoms. These are real and Hospice of the
Piedmont is available 24 hours per day to help with these.

9) Talk about subjects you used to talk about. Share memories, look at old pictures,

10) Laugh together whenever possible.

Caring for yourself

1) Know your limits. Be realistic about how much of your time and yourself you can give. Set
clear limits, and communicate those limits to others.

2) Now is the time to ask for help. When family, friends or neighbors ask “what can I do?” – tell
them. Keep a list of errands or tasks that you need done and give those to anyone who

3) Get enough sleep. Take naps whenever possible.

4) Eat to nurture your body. Make sure you get enough fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of

5) Stay social. Make it a priority to visit regularly with other people, even if by phone, Skype, or
FaceTime. Don’t let yourself become isolated.

6) Do things you enjoy. Laughter and joy can help keep you going when you face trials, stress,
and pain.

7) Maintain balance in your life. Don’t give up activities that are important to you, such as your
work or your hobbies.

8) Give yourself a break. Take regular breaks from caregiving, and give yourself an extended
break at least once a week.

9) Keep notes in your journal (included in this booklet). Write down your thoughts and feelings.
This will give you perspective and serve as a way to release strong feelings.

10) Feed your spirit. Pray, meditate, exercise, or do another activity that makes you feel part of
something greater.