Caring for an ailing family member can be one of the saddest and most difficult experiences in a family’s history together. Yet, it can also be one of a family’s most fulfilling, meaningful, and intimate experiences. A lot of love, and even laughter, can be shared as the patient and family learn to live fully now while preparing for tomorrow. It’s a balancing act, to be sure.
Iowa City Hospice can help with that balancing act – at any time in the disease process. Our organization has a number of resources in place to address the challenges caregivers often face. These resources include personal guidance from our experienced staff, Caregiver Support Groups, Caregiver Education and Serious Illness.org, an on-line resource. Below are details of each of these resources.
Personal Guidance From The Iowa City Hospice Staff
Iowa City Hospice can help evaluate your needs and connect you to the appropriate care available in our community. Our staff are here to offer guidance and resources to meet each person’s unique needs. Services include Iowa City Hospice’s free and confidential in-home assessment to referrals to connections to other community agencies to ensure your needs are met. Contact us at 800-897-3052 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Caregiver Support Group
Iowa City Hospice and Pathways Adult Day Health Center offer a support group for caregivers that is open and free to all community members at any point in their care giving journey. The Caregiver Support Group offers emotional and educational support in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.
The group meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 1:00–2:30PM at Johnson County Extension, 3109 Old Hwy. 218 South, Iowa City. Free respite care is available during the support group at Pathways Adult Day Health Center, with a reservation. To make a reservation for the free respite, call 319-339-6162.
Iowa City Hospice has previously held educational sessions for caregivers. These educational sessions have focused on different topics that affect caregivers. Please see our links and information below for resources and videos on previous educational sessions.
Current educational programs are also on Iowa City’s channel 4 at the following times:
- Saturday at 5PM
- Sunday at 6AM
- Monday at Noon
- Tuesday at 1AM
- Wednesday at 5AM & 8PM
- Thursday at 9AM
- Friday at 1PM
These sessions are meant for caregivers. A caregiver can be anyone who provides care. This may be a family member or it may be neighbors and friends who fill the caregiver role. Caregiving might be as simple as helping with grocery shopping or doctor appointments or as involved as providing 24 hour care. Caregiving roles are continually evolving as the needs of the person they are caring for evolves.
Often, caregivers don’t formally recognize the role they are filling. This is especially true with spouses. They associate what they are doing a normal part of being a partner to that person. While that is true, it is important for them to realize they are caregivers, they are not alone and there is help. While we know caregivers are often stretched for time, taking time to learn, reflect and connect with other caregivers is essential to the health and success of our community’s caregivers.
SeriousIllness.org, An Online Resource
Have questions about caring for a loved one? Go to seriousillness.org/iowacity.
Yours is an important job!
You shoulder many responsibilities caring for a friend or relative who is seriously ill. You may also have strong feelings arise as you watch your loved one coping with the difficulties of poor health. Iowa City Hospice proudly offers this educational resource to support you, your friends and family who so tenderly care for your frail or ill loved ones. You don’t have to do this alone.
We’re here to help with:
- Educational articles
- Caregiving tips
- Directory of community programs
- Links to national resources
- Monthly e-newsletter
- A family blog tool
- “Share Your Story”
- “Ask The Expert”
Whether you are concerned about your loved one’s eating habits, or are coping with feelings of grief or hopelessness, you can get sound advice regarding a wide array of topics:
- Medical Concerns
- Emotional-Spiritual Issues
- Important Decisions
Managing pain, easing fatigue, helping with bathing…these are just some of the many ways that family members support an ailing loved one. You can learn simple tips for making daily life more comfortable for you and the person you care for. Print out these articles, or email them to a friend or family member.
Directory of Community Programs
You are not alone. There are programs available to help. We have an extensive list of national, state and local services geared to assist you in your current situation.
Links to National Resources
The Internet has so much information to offer, it can be overwhelming. We assist you by providing links to credible websites with information based on current research.
Monthly E-Newsletter for Families
Once a month, we bring you topical articles with information that will make your life easier. From tax tips for family caregivers to coping with depression, we give you up-to-date advice from national experts. Subscribe today and tell a friend. It’s free!