Category: Caregiving Tips

Articles for caregivers of terminally ill patients including how to manage challenging situations.

Understanding and Managing Sundowning in Dementia: Ensuring Safety for Your Loved One

sundowning signs and symptoms
Sundowning, or "late-day confusion," is a challenging experience for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. This phenomenon, occurring in the late afternoon or evening, brings about increased confusion, anxiety, and agitation. Caregivers need to comprehend sundowning and offer compassionate care to ensure the well-being of their loved ones. In this article, we'll delve into effective strategies, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological, to manage sundowning and create a safe environment.
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The Importance of Routines and Consistency for Patients with Dementia

When caring for a loved one with dementia, maintaining routines and consistency can make a significant difference in their overall well-being and quality of life. As a caregiver, understanding the value of routines and how they can positively impact your loved one's journey through dementia is crucial. In this article, we'll explore why routines matter, how to establish them, and the benefits they bring to both patients and caregivers.
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Encouraging Dementia Patients to Take a Bath or Shower: 3 Gentle Methods

As a caregiver for a loved one with dementia, it's important to approach daily tasks, such as bathing, with patience, understanding, and empathy. Dementia can bring about changes in behavior and communication, making activities like showering or bathing challenging for both the patient and the caregiver. Here are three gentle methods to encourage a dementia patient to cooperate and take a bath or shower while maintaining their comfort and dignity.
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Doctors Ignoring Family Concerns in Dementia Care

Welcome to our discussion on a topic close to many hearts: the care of our loved ones with dementia. When a family member is diagnosed with dementia, it feels like a part of them slowly fades away. But as they lose parts of themselves, your role in their life becomes even more crucial. This article isn’t just words on a page; it’s a beacon of hope and understanding, shining a light on why your voice, as a family member, is vital in the care of your loved one.
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Understanding Repetitive Questions of Dementia Patients

using a white board to help dementia patients know the plan for today
When caring for a loved one with dementia, it's important to approach their needs with empathy and understanding. Dementia is a progressive condition that affects memory, thinking, and communication. As a caregiver or family member, it's crucial to adapt your communication style and strategies to best support your loved one. This article will guide you through the stages of dementia, address common symptoms like anxiety and agitation, provide techniques to reduce caregiver burnout, create a calm environment, and effectively respond to repetitive questions.
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Optimizing Hospice Respite Care: A Comprehensive Guide for Families

hospice four levels of care
Caring for a loved one who has a terminal illness can be extremely rewarding, but also particularly challenging. You may feel exhausted, overwhelmed, or isolated by the demands of caregiving. You may also feel guilty or anxious about taking a break from your loved one. But you deserve some time to rest, recharge, and take care of yourself. That is why hospice respite care can be a great option for you and your loved one. Hospice respite care is a service that allows you to temporarily place your loved one in a facility, such as a hospital, nursing home, or hospice house, where they can receive professional care and support. You can use this time to do whatever you need or want to do, such as sleeping, working, running errands, visiting friends, or enjoying a hobby. Respite care can last up to five days at a time.
Read MoreOptimizing Hospice Respite Care: A Comprehensive Guide for Families

Review of Gone from My Sight by Barbara Karnes, RN

Gone From My Sight The Dying Experience By Barbara Karnes
As an experienced hospice nurse with years of experience, I have come across numerous resources that aim to guide families and caregivers through the process of dying. One such resource that stands out is "Gone from my sight: The Dying Experience" by Barbara Karnes, RN. This booklet, often referred to as the "Little Blue Book," has been a staple for hospice providers for over three decades, and for good reason.
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Nourishing with Care: Feeding a Terminally Ill Loved One

Caring for someone at the end of life is one of the highest forms of love. It requires patience, understanding, and a gentle touch. It’s about being there, whether it’s holding a hand, wiping a brow, or offering a favorite dish. It’s about listening to their needs, both said and unsaid, and responding with your heart. In these moments, we’re not just caregivers; we’re guardians of their dignity and their peace. In this article, we’ll explore these topics further, providing you with the knowledge and tools to feed your loved one safely and with compassion. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. There’s a community of caregivers out there who understand and support you. Together, we can ensure that our loved ones are nourished with care and love in their final days.
Read MoreNourishing with Care: Feeding a Terminally Ill Loved One

Managing Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State at End of Life: A Comfort-Based Approach

Dka Vs Hhs For Diabetes
As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand that managing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) at end of life can be challenging, especially when patients choose to stop taking their diabetic medications or when those medications are no longer an option. In this article, I will provide information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemic crises and outline comfort-based treatment options that align with hospice goals of care.
Read MoreManaging Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State at End of Life: A Comfort-Based Approach

Traveling While on Hospice: Making the Most of Precious Moments Together

hospice couple travelng
As an experienced hospice nurse caring for terminally ill patients and their families, I understand the importance of making the most of the time you have left with your loved one. Traveling with a terminally ill family member can be a beautiful and meaningful experience, allowing you to create lasting memories together. In this article, I'll guide you through the process of traveling while on hospice and offer valuable tips for managing the journey for the best possible outcome
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Caring for a Loved One with Dementia: Encouraging Medication Compliance

encouraging a woman to take her medicine
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging. One common struggle caregivers face is ensuring their loved one takes their medications. Dementia can make understanding and remembering medications difficult. In this guide, we'll explore effective strategies for encouraging dementia patients to take their medications, considering their unique needs.
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Understanding Terminal Illness: How to Recognize the Signs Using Your Senses

Holding The Hands Of A Dying Person
Facing the reality of a loved one's terminal illness can be a challenging and emotional journey. As a hospice registered nurse case manager, I understand the importance of providing compassionate and clear information to empower patients, caregivers, and families. In this article, we'll explore how you, as a family member, can use your own observations and senses to recognize the signs that your loved one may be in the terminal stage of their illness. Remember, while medical professionals have their tools, your observations and intuition significantly matter.
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Understanding and Managing Contractures

dementia patient with contractures
I know that the journey you and your loved one are on can be challenging, especially when facing a terminal illness. As an experienced hospice nurse caring for terminally ill patients, I want to provide you with some valuable insights on a common issue that may arise during this time: contractures.
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