For the Caregiver

caregiver

While your loved one is in the hospital, who will speak up for him or her? You can, by being the patient’s advocate – the person who will help the patient work with doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. To help your loved one make the best decisions about their care and treatment, follow this advice:

Learn more – Know your loved one’s health conditions and treatment plans

Patient’s rights – Know your patient’s rights and responsibilities. Read More

Advance directives – Know whether or not your loved one has and advance directive, and, if so, what it specifies. Read More

Ask questions – If your loved one is too ill or reluctant to ask questions, make note of their concerns and any you may have and don’t be afraid to speak up

Help track medications – Your loved one may be prescribed medications while in the hospital and may be seen by several doctors. Keep track of it all with a wallet-sized notebook

What’s next? – Will your loved one need home care or care at another facility? Ask to speak with a case manager to find out what your options are.

While you are making sure that your loved one’s needs are being met, don’t neglect your own. Caregiving is a stressful and time-consuming job. You may neglect your diet, your normal exercise routine, and your sleep needs. You may find that you have little or no time to spend with friends, to relax, or to just be by yourself for a while. But down time is important. Don’t be reluctant to ask for help in caring for your loved one. Take advantage of friends’ offers to help and look into local adult day care programs. Find out more about how you can ease the stress of caregiving at www.caregiver.org

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