Gritman is there for you before, during and after your stay
(Pictured above, from left to right: Crystal Schluter, Care Management director; Holly Hall, nursing leader; and Nichole Wheaton, Emergency Department director.)
Having the support of a loved one or a caregiver is important for good health and healing once a patient is discharged from the hospital.
While being a caregiver is a highly rewarding and meaningful experience, we also know there will be times when you may feel lost and overwhelmed as you try to balance your own personal needs and providing care for your loved one. Whether your loved one is still at Gritman or has returned home, our team is always available to assist and we have created a new resource page at gritman.org/caregiver with information and advice you can trust.
“Being a caregiver is amazing and difficult all at the same time,” said Holly Hall, a nursing leader in Gritman’s medical-surgical and critical care units. “We want you to know that you are not alone. We want you to feel comfortable, safe and educated.”
When possible, ensuring a safe return home for our patients is our goal – and you, as a caregiver, play an important role.
“A majority of patients prefer to go to their own home for recovery, so making this possible helps keep morale up,” Hall said. “A patient tends to thrive in their own environment, making the chances of recovery more successful.”
Prior to discharge, our nurses and staff help to prepare patients, their family and caregivers for their return home and to provide education about new tasks that may be required, like checking blood sugars, catheter care, bed changes, drain management and wound care. Our physical and occupational therapists will evaluate any potential barriers to a return home and assist in determining if the patient needs any assistive equipment or home alterations.
“We want loved ones in their own comfortable environments and we will work very hard with caregivers to achieve just that,” Gritman Emergency Department Director and Registered Nurse Nicole Wheaton said.
As we work to prepare caregivers to provide for their loved one at home, we also know it is critical the caregiver’s needs are not ignored.
“We never want a caregiver to feel overwhelmed or unable to care for their loved one,” Wheaton said. “Sometimes this is unavoidable, however, if the caregiver takes time for self-care some of the overwhelming events seem less stressful and are easier for them to handle.”
“It is so important for the caregiver to take care of themselves and know that there is support and resources available,” Hall added. “It is so hard for a caregiver to provide the best care they can when they are struggling with their own self-care and that’s when caregiver burnout begins. When caregiver burnout happens it becomes less likely that the ones they care for will be able to stay in the home situation. A healthy, supported caregiver can be the difference between going home or having to discuss other options.”