Written by Sue Sproule, Director of Nursing at The Arc of Monroe
End of Life – What does it mean to the caregiver?
Even when you know the end of life is approaching for someone you support, you might not feel prepared. Looking after a person who is dying can be very stressful. It’s common to feel like you don’t know what to do, what to say or how to cope. You might feel angry, sad or totally unprepared. You could also feel frightened about how it will happen and if you will be able to cope. However, once you know what is going on, you can focus on making your time together as special as possible.
For many of you, the hardest part is thinking about how it will affect the person who is dying. You might worry that they will be in pain, feel sick or experience breathlessness. You might have concerns that they will get very anxious and depressed. It is natural to wonder whether you will be able to support them through this time. You are likely to be more of a support than you realize, and you don’t have to do it on your own. There is help available!
That is what The Arc of Monroe’s End of Life Committee is here for. Over the next several months, our growing committee will collaborate to create a program that not only supports the people who have become part of our work “family,” but also supports the staff taking care of these “loved ones.” Here is a short video that might help you understand what our goal is.
Remember that you don’t have to care for the people you support alone! It’s important to take time for yourself and recharge. Some great ways to do this include:
- Take a shower or soak in the tub
- Go outside and get fresh air
- Have something nice to eat or drink
- Take a nap
- Talk with a trusted coworker or friend about how you feel
Sue Sproule is the Director of Nursing at The Arc of Monroe. She has 44 years of experience in nursing and four have been at The Arc of Monroe. To connect with Sue, email her at email@example.com.
We hope this blog is helpful to you! Our Health Services team at The Arc of Monroe is a wealth of information. Our staff is made up of experienced professionals who primarily support people with disabilities. To learn more about who they are, visit our Health Services page. If you’re interested in working with us at The Arc of Monroe, visit our careers page. If you’d like to give and help make valuable resources like this possible, you can give online.