Making the transition into a hospice care facility can be challenging for many individuals. It’s common for people to experience end-of-life anxiety and stress when dealing with these kinds of situations. Therefore, it’s essential that people have the support of their friends, family, and loved ones when they make a move to hospice. Being surrounded by the ones you care about most can make even the most difficult life transitions that much easier. So here’s some essential information on how to support a loved one who is on hospice.
Have a Positive Attitude
The first way to support a loved one who is on hospice care is by having a positive attitude. It’s all too easy to fall into a depressed, pessimistic state of mind when you know end-of-life is near. But negativity never helped anyone. So if you want to be there for your loved one while they’re in a hospice care facility, it’s essential to have a positive mindset and attitude. If you are able to focus on the positives rather than the negatives, it will make the whole process that much smoother. You want to show your loved one that everything will be okay and that you are there for them through anything, so be sure to stay positive.
Being understanding is another tip for helping your loved one while they’re on hospice. Dealing with a terminal illness that requires hospice care can bring a rollercoaster of emotions with it. You may witness your loved one experience a plethora of different emotions throughout the day, and some may be unpredictable. Therefore, it’s necessary that you show this person understanding, empathy, and compassion during this time. It’s okay if your loved one is frustrated or upset on any given day. Those emotions are totally normal and natural. Avoid giving your loved one a lecture or a hard time when they are struggling with more difficult feelings. Instead, be understanding toward their situation and show your support.
Visit Them Often
The third way you can show up for someone during their hospice stay is by visiting them often. When someone is staying in a hospice care facility, they are removed from their home and put in a position where they may not see their closest friends and family as frequently as they would like. Because of this situation, it is imperative that you make an effort to see your loved one during their time on hospice. Make sure to contact the facility to get information on how to set up visitation and when the best dates and times for visiting are. It’s also beneficial to bring other family members and friends with you so your loved one knows they have the support of the people closest to them.
Share Happy Memories
Sharing happy memories is also a great way to support your loved one in hospice. End-of-life can be a reflective time for many individuals as they think back on the life they have lived and the things they have done. It’s common for people to experience regrets or worry that there is more they could have done during their time on earth. Therefore, it’s beneficial for you to support your loved one through these feelings by sharing happy memories with them. Focusing on the good times will help your loved one feel more at peace during this transitional life period. You can bring photo albums and pictures to share with your loved one when you come for visits to remind them of all the fun you have had together.
Advocate for Them
Another essential thing to do for your loved one while they’re in a hospice care facility is to advocate for them. It’s common for people on hospice with a terminal illness to experience a decrease in regular functioning. For example, patients may struggle to speak, complete daily tasks, get dressed by themselves, or move around without assistance. Therefore, your loved one may need you to advocate for them during their hospice care. You can be an advocate by helping them make decisions regarding an end-of-life plan and making sure hospice staff are meeting their physical and medical needs. Help your loved one ask any questions they may have about their care plan.
Offer Your Assistance
Offering your assistance is another way that you can be supportive during someone’s hospice care. As mentioned previously, your loved one may experience decreased motor skills and regular functioning during end-of-life. Therefore, you should offer your assistance whenever it is needed. For example, you can help your loved one get out of bed, get dressed, go for a walk, or eat a meal. However, if your loved one wants to be as independent as possible, offer your help gently rather than forcing it on them. People respond better to kindness rather than forcefulness.
Give Them Privacy
The next way to be compassionate to someone during their time in hospice is by giving them privacy. There may be times when your loved one needs some privacy, and they may not want people around to see them in certain conditions. Therefore, it’s essential that you respect their wishes, whatever they may be. For example, your loved one may be experiencing a particularly difficult day where they are struggling with physical symptoms of their disease or condition, and they may ask you not to visit on that specific day. If this is the case, give your loved one their personal space and privacy and schedule a time to come see them when they are more comfortable.
Engage In Conversation
Engaging in conversation is also a fantastic way to show your support for someone in hospice. Even if your loved one is experiencing impaired speech due to their illness or condition, it’s important to still engage in conversation with them. It doesn’t matter if you can’t think of anything to talk about. You can talk to your loved one about your day at work, the sports game you saw on TV last night, or even the pretty flowers you saw on your drive to the hospice facility. Talking to them is essential because it helps them to feel your support and love even if they can’t always talk back.
Now that you know how to support your loved one during their hospice care, you can start doing your part today. Soulisitc Hospice offers hospice emotional support in Arizona to patients and their families to make your stay in a hospice care facility as comfortable as possible.