Meeting the Needs of Caregivers

While the focus is on your loved one, you should not feel invisible. You need to advocate for yourself as well as your loved one. Palliative care providers may not ask about your personal and medical information; information that is important and relevant to the wellbeing of your loved one and your ability to provide care. So, on your first visit, volunteer the following information.

  • Whether or not you work outside of the home. If so, where, your work schedule and how you can be reached.
  • Obligations that compete for your time and resources (family, organizations, work)
  • If you have any medical conditions that might hinder your ability to give care.
  • List of current medications (prescription, over-the-counter, herbal) that you are taking. The information should include:
    • The name of the medication
    • Dosage
    • When medication is taken and frequency
  • Relate any safety concerns you may have regarding your home, as it pertains to you and your loved one. Fill out a home safety chart and go over it with the team and discuss any changes or modifications that might need to be made to your home.

Share these updated charts (one for your loved one and one for you) with your physician at every visit – either at the office or during a home visit. Alert the physicians to any side effects or bad reactions to medications and if there is any difficulty in taking the medications.

Related Resources: Meeting the Palliative Care Team