Ep. 369 Practical Tools for Home Caregivers with Barbara Karnes RN

Learn useful tips for caring for a dying loved one at home and how to be better prepared for the challenge.

My special return guest is Barbara Karnes RN, hospice nurse, author, thought leader, and expert on end-of-life care. Barbara is going to be a recurring guest from now on, joining the podcast every other month to talk about hospice care. Today we discuss practical tools that caregivers need in order to care for themselves and their loved ones at the end of life. Barbara has written a new guide for caregivers called By Your Side that offers a tremendous number of resources and practical tips and she’ll share many of them with us today. Learn more about Barbara’s work at her website:


Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The needs of caregivers are often overlooked by both hospital and hospice staffs
  • What caregivers need to know about food intake for patients at the end of life
  • The importance of keeping a written record of patient’s status throughout the day because it’s too hard to remember
  • The impact of sleep deprivation and fatigue on caregivers including lack of patience and flexibility
  • Why self-care for caregivers is essential and not selfish
  • How to set boundaries with a patient and why they are necessary
  • It’s not a failure to decide that home caregiving is too difficult
  • Why understanding the dying process is important for caregivers
  • How to find support in your community as a caregiver
  • How care of patients with dementia differs from other hospice patients
  • Basic information about pain management and symptom control

Links mentioned in this episode:

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