Family caregivers of people at the end of life experience decreased wellbeing while providing care and in bereavement, even when the patient is receiving specialized palliative care. In addition to the psychological, physical, and financial stresses associated with caregiving and losing a loved one, most neglect to care for themselves. While providing care, this is partly due to a lack of time, and partly due to feeling that everything must focus on their ill loved one. However, if caregivers don’t take care of themselves, not only will their own health suffer, but the patient may need to be admitted to a hospital earlier than otherwise, if the caregiver becomes exhausted. Furthermore, many patients are concerned about the toll that their condition is taking on the caregiver.
The Caregiver Guide Handbook was created as the basis of a training program for volunteer Caregiver Guides and for them to use throughout their service. This was part of a research project to develop and implement a volunteer Caregiver Guide service to enable caregivers of people at the end of life to cope and maintain their own wellbeing in the patient’s last months and the first 3-6 months of bereavement. The goal of the research was to learn about the impact of the service on all involved and to improve it based on ongoing evaluation. The research project was funded by the Max Bell Foundation.
You may also download directly at: https://www.chpca.ca/knowledge/guiding-family-caregivers-of-people-at-the-end-of-life-a-handbook-2016/