A very interesting study out of the University of Kentucky is getting some well deserved attention. The premise, as reported by ScienceCodex.com, is “hospice caregivers need routine care interventions…”
The study determined that hospice caregivers are themselves “second order patients,” with their own care needs. The population being studied was family hospice caregivers, but our experience, at Support For Home, indicates that this phenomenon — great stress on hospice caregivers, professional or family, can produce medical issues that need to be addressed.
One of the University of Kentucky researchers put it this way:
It doesn’t matter how well educated you are,” said Wittenberg-Lyles. “When someone you love is dying and you are in a position to care for them at home, your home turns into a hospital room and key decisions need to be made hourly. Clinicians should assume that anyone going through the stress and chaos of caring for a terminally ill family member has low health literacy and high needs for education and support.
Again, we would argue that approach needs to be extended to all hospice caregivers, whether family, nurses, social workers or CNAs / HHAs. Hospice caregivers are very special people. We need to treat them as such.
Best wishes. Bert