The role of caregiver for a terminally ill loved one is physically and emotionally demanding and often draining. Hospice understands this and provides a number of services to support the caregiver(s) in this most difficult time. In addition to being available 24/7 for questions and concerns, all hospice providers offer respite care for the caregiver and grief counseling prior to and after the loss of a loved one. Many hospices offer additional services such as transportation assistance, light housekeeping, hairdresser or barber services, or massage. The family should ask a prospective hospice provider what services are available.
Respite care means a hospice volunteer comes to the home for several hours a week to care for the patient to allow the caregiver time to do errands, meet with friends, or just take a few hours off to relax.