Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 1385 – Hospice – a List for the Caregiver

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas


A few days ago I made a list of things that would help and/or be useful to someone who is in a residential hospice. Now I’d like to look at a list for those giving care. I know that my situation was different, most people never stay longer than 2 weeks, but as you know my mother lasted 8 weeks at hospice before she died.

That was 8 weeks of me traveling down to stay with her four days out of the week (and there was one period where I was there for 9 days straight because I had spring break.)

I am forever glad that I was able to do this, but it took its toll on my body. You know when on the airplane they tell you to put your oxygen on first telling you that if you are in charge of someone, you can’t take care of them if you don’t take care of yourself – (and then every nurse repeats this story to you nearly every day at hospice?)

It’s true.

While with my mother, I sat for hours and hours and when it was time to eat, I would grab a quick lunch (which usually meant a sandwich and fries) and return to my sitting. At night I’d return to my hotel and well, you can probably figure out what I did – absolutely nothing. A day at hospice doesn’t exactly psych you up for a vigorous workout in the evening.

I gained weight (a lot) and my body turned to sludge.

This is what happens to anyone who is in the caregiving position. It doesn’t have to be hospice; it could be a kid with a broken leg. The very same principals apply. I’ve thought about this and come up with these items which would have helped or did help me during my time with my mother. I’ll be keeping this list handy for the future.

A fitbit – although I have one, during the time my mom was in hospice it wasn’t working properly. I have an Alta and if I haven’t walked at least 250 steps in one hour, it buzzes to remind me to get up. That kind of “annoyance” would have been helpful. Also if I had seen, for example, that I had only walked 1,345 (true) steps for the day, I would have added in a few extra walks somewhere.

An approach to meals – when you eat a “quick lunch” you usually don’t eat terribly healthy food. I should have complied a list of local restaurants where salads were available or where you could go to a salad bar and just get what you wanted.  If there ever is a next time, I’m going to do my research.

Water – I didn’t drink enough water when I was by my mother’s side. Why would I? Water makes you pee and when the rest room is on the first floor, it takes you away from the person you are there for. So I didn’t drink water during the day. And then I didn’t drink water in the evening either (who wants to be up all night going to the bathroom) hence my body turned to sludge. I wish I had brought a large water bottle and made myself drink one refill in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Motrin P.M. – sleeping in a hotel is touch-and-go for me, sometimes Motrin P.M. is just what the doctor ordered.

Fruit – very few restaurants include fruit. I should have gone to the grocery store and gotten a few oranges, apples, and bananas. It wasn’t until the last few weeks that I was in a hotel that offered breakfast and they had *some* fruit available.

Me-time – after my mother had had lunch and she was settled, I left for an hour or two to get my lunch and do some errands. I felt guilty about this (what if she needs me) until a nurse told me that my mother always took a nap when I was gone because she didn’t want to nap when I was there. Some time away is good for everyone.

Chapstick and lotion – see the “didn’t drink water” section, boy, my lips and skin got dry.

Comfortable clothing – when you sit all day, you don’t want anything digging into you. Comfortable clothes it was.

A pocket token – Not a Catholic but I kept a St. Christopher token in my pocket to remind me that we were all on a journey. Every time I reached in my pocket, I felt the coin and was grounded.

A journal and pen – I took lots of notes and wrote down many ideas during my time with my mother. Some things I wanted to remember and some I wanted to pass on (like this list.)

Phone and charger – if you really want to feel cut off from the rest of the world, leave your phone in your car (which I did on one very important occasion) otherwise have your phone and charger with you at all times.

Book – forget a book, I thought I’d get through dozens of them and ended up not finishing one. My mind was toast. A magazine with pretty pictures worked better.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at

Also, join Wendy on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Black and Gold Hues Wedding Inspiration with a Modern Flair

    Black Gold Hues Wedding Inspiration with Modern Flair

    Today, we’re sharing with you a wedding inspirational shoot that took place in Santorini, an ideal summer destination. An impressive table with black and gold... Read more

    10 hours, 30 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
  • A Fun Class


    Last night was the tenth and last meeting of my Wordplay class -- and what fun it's been! The students have written to prompts of taste, touch, smell, sound, an... Read more

    10 hours, 34 minutes ago by   Vickilane
  • Concert Review: The Next Giant Steps

    Concert Review: Next Giant Steps

    Lawrence Brownlee in a fierce Liederabend at Zankel Hall. by Paul J. Pelkonen Tenor Lawrence Brownlee explored 19th century and contemporary song at Zankel... Read more

    12 hours, 43 minutes ago by   Superconductor
  • Roly Poly Rhubarb Pudding

    Roly Poly Rhubarb Pudding

    When I was a child I could hardly wait for Rhubarb Season to roll around. My mom would make us our favourite rhubarb pies. They were so tasty, served warm with... Read more

    13 hours, 34 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner
  • Why Dental Care Practices Need to Manage Their Online Reputation

    Dental Care Practices Need Manage Their Online Reputation

    In times when online reviews are playing a decisive role in customers’ decision making, healthcare providers cannot just sit back with folded hands, and let... Read more

    15 hours, 34 minutes ago by   Ajay Prasad
  • 12-year-old Stole His Parents’ Money and Ran Away on Holiday

    12-year-old Stole Parents’ Money Away Holiday

    A 12-year-old boy from Sydney, Australia stole the parent‘s credit card, tricked his grandmother to give him the passport, and went on a holiday in Bali after... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Poundtravel
  • Sedo Weekly Sales Led by

    Sedo reported their weekly sales and led the way at $55,000. sold for $5,500, I have not seen a .tel sale in awhile. 40 .com sales 24 cctld... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Worldwide