Because they're so focused on treating the health of their patients, doctors can often inadvertently fail to recognize the needs of caregivers who are caring for an oxygen user at home. Family members of aging patients who slowly lose their ability to take care of themselves have one of the most complex, physically demanding and stressful jobs out there.
If you’re caring for an oxygen user, you certainly help with transportation and chores around the house. You may even dispense medications and help feed, bathe and dress your loved one who can no longer do it for themselves. Doctors and nurses were once the ones who were held responsible for these tasks, but in recent years, caregiving has fallen more and more on less trained or untrained individuals, particularly relatives, close friends or personal assistants.
The New York Times states that 37 million people in America are caring for an elderly friend, family member or neighbor. With this significant responsibility, those caring for an oxygen user may put more focus on their patient and less on themselves. According to the article, doctors may not be noticing this.
Fortunately, attitudes started changing for the better in 2010 when, according to TNYT, the American College of Physicians issued a professional paper on the matter. The paper, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and reported on by TNYT, explores specific questions that might arise in typical caregiver circumstances, such as:
- How should doctors handle long-distance family caregiving situations?
- What should doctors consider when working with a terminal patient’s caregiver?
- How can doctors support caregivers who are convinced they can never do enough?
Doctors are starting to better understand that caregivers have specific needs and are central to the patient’s wellbeing. If you are a caregiver, learn more about caring for an oxygen user while still caring for yourself by downloading the free guide, “Living with COPD: A Caregiver’s Guide” from DoMoreWithOxygen.com today.Rosie O'Beirne