What is nausea and vomiting?
Nausea is an unpleasant feeling that may occur in the back of the throat or stomach with or without vomiting. Vomiting is the emptying of stomach contents.
What to report to CHPC:
- Amount and frequency of nausea and vomiting
- Description of vomited fluid (amount, color, etc.)
What can be done?
There is much you, your caregiver, and CHPC can do for nausea and vomiting. The team will always try to determine the underlying cause and discuss remedies with your
health care provider.
- Record what causes the nausea or vomiting and what decreases it
- Sip carbonated drinks that have gone flat (ex: Ginger Ale)
- Avoid acid juices (such as cranberry, grape, apple)
- Drink sports drinks (such as Gatorade®); with children use Pedialyte®
- Provide small amounts of salty foods (such as crackers, chicken broth)
- Avoid fried foods, milk products, or those with strong smells
- Administer frequent mouth care
- Provide foods as requested by patient in small, frequent amounts; large meals may be overwhelming
- Avoid strong odors such as perfumes and deodorizers
- Avoid eating immediately after vomiting
- Try sips of water or ice chips before eating again
- Maintain a comfortable room temperature
- Ask the Hospice nurse how to avoid constipation
- Use medications as directed by health care provider
- Contact your Hospice nurse if nausea and/or vomiting continues
What is nutrition and hydration?
- Nutrition is the feeding of our body with foods and fluids
- Hydration is giving liquids for the body
What to report to CHPC
- Inability to eat or drink
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry mouth or tongue
- Weight loss of more than 5 in a week
- Decreased urination
- Confusion or drowsiness
What can be done?
It is normal for the patient to have less appetite and drink less as their disease progresses. Treatment choices will depend on your wishes and the patient’s illness.
Things the caregiver can do:
- Encourage small amounts of favorite foods and
- Offer drinks or sips of clear fluids.
- Clean the mouth often—a pleasant-tasting mouth may make food taste
- Help other family members and friends understand why eating and drinking may cause the patient to be uncomfortable.
- Support the patient’s decision not to eat or
- Encourage the patient to rest before and after a
- Make mealtime a quiet and pleasant time; candles, flowers, soft music, and good conversation are things that may help.
- Offer small meals and use smaller
- If nausea is a problem, serve small portions of salty (not sweet) dry foods and clear
- Find ways other than food and drink to show the patient you For example, offer the patient a massage or look through a picture album together.
What is shortness of breath or dyspnea?
- An uncomfortable feeling of having difficulty breathing
- Can be described as not getting enough air (a feeling that you cannot get your breath), may feel like the room is closing in, or there is not enough air in the room
- A personal experience for each individual
When should I be worried about shortness of breath?
- When it stops you from doing what you want to do
- When it causes you to become anxious, nervous, or restless
- When it causes bluish discoloration of face, nose, fingers, or toes
What can be done?
There is much you, your caregiver and the CHPC care team can do to relieve or lessen shortness of breath. The team will always try to discover the underlying cause and discuss treatments with your health care provider.
- Record what causes shortness of breath and what decreases
- Increase air movement by opening a window or using a
- Keep room cool, hold cool cloths to face, use an air conditioner, or place a bowl of ice in front of a fan.
- Keep the environment quiet to decrease feelings of
- Elevate the head or sit in a chair or
- Relax with spiritual support, yoga, calming music,
- Focus on breathing—take slow, deep breaths or use breathing exercises that the Hospice team can teach you.
- Use oxygen as directed by the health care
- Take medication as
- Notify CHPC if your shortness of breath is not
Why it is important?
Caregivers play a very important role in the care of patients with a serious or life limiting illness. More than 70% of people who die have had care from family members. Caring for a loved one who is seriously ill can be very challenging work. It can only be done if you take time to take care of yourself. Self-care is about meeting your own needs, in order that you can meet the needs of your loved one. Providing this care can be very stressful for caregivers. Some helpful suggestions include the following:
- Take time This can include walking, reading, listening to music, praying, gardening, etc.
- Remember to take care of your own
- Keep your own medical
- Schedule time to Have at least 3 healthy but simple meals a day.
- Attempt to make meals in Ask friends/family if they could help with making meals.
- Ask how best to provide care to your loved one to avoid injuring
- Take time to rest, especially if sleeping has become hard for
- Avoid or limit the use of tobacco and alcohol, as they make it harder to fall or stay
- Try to get some form of exercise every
- Tell people about your These people may be family, friends, or some of the health care providers working with you to help you care for your loved one.
- Be informed! Ask what signs and symptoms to expect from the patient so that you are prepared to deal with them.
- Set realistic goals for your Be flexible, and set limits.
- Ask others to help with whatever you or your loved one
- Maintain relationships with family and friends to avoid feeling alone. If it is difficult for you to get out, ask people to come to Let others take care of you and allow your loved one to say thank you for all you do.
- Work with your CHPC team to provide time to get out of the home to enjoy social activities or attend support groups. When possible, continue doing favorite activities. Try to keep things simple.
- Tell yourself every day you are doing a great
- Let your CHPC team know if you are feeling
- Attend to your spiritual needs by calling or visiting your place of
- Keep your own “special ” This can be your room, a chair, a table, etc., someplace that is only yours where you can go to unwind.
- Seek additional professional help if you are feeling scared, helpless, lost, or