I know in my life it’s often hard to speak with loved ones about death and dying until we almost miss that conversation. It seems we feel we are walking on broken glass. Talking hospice care can be the same. I remember my parents talking to me when they decided they wished to be cremated. I was horrified. They had obviously given it a lot of thought and were forthcoming in their decision. Is it the same when talking hospice care? How does one help a relative or loved one, that is possibly needing hospice care in the near future, without knowing what to say?
What I found
I searched for some suggestions that seem somewhat universal but then I think it is always dependent on the individual situation. Some people need hospice for a short time and others need it for end of life situation. So all situations are different. Know that it can be a very stressful and emotional time for all concerned. Knowledge often helps alleviate fear. But what follows is what I discovered that some who deal with it often have to say.
Educate yourself about hospice care
Be sure that you have done your homework so that you understand more and are not sharing from a fearful or terribly emotional state. What is it? How does it work? These are questions you will want to visit. You can ask healthcare workers, or read articles and books. Another idea is to attend support groups that can help tell you more. You can attend as you would Al Anon to help when you have an alcoholic in your family. Share your story and ask questions so others can share their stories. Stories are often very powerful and can help you weed through your own situation relative to hospice care.
Talk with your loved one about their situation and the options that are available to them. Some of this Information may come from the doctors too. Explain to them the positives like how hospice can provide comfort and support during their final days or weeks or months. No one knows. At this point many are ready for the change, the relaxed treatment as opposed to the pokes and prods of normal treatment programs.
Listen to their concerns about hospice care
This is so important to them. No one listens much to patients anymore. It’s hard sometimes to get them to share because of all they have been through. Let them voice their concerns, fears, objections. Answer their questions as objectively as you can. If you don’t know the answer, tell them you will see if you can find an answer to their particular situation. Do not force any decision on them unless they are unable to make their own decisions. Even though you love them, no one really knows what things go through someone’s mind at these times. Be patient.
Get support for yourself
Its often the last thing we think of during these times because many of us are good at taking care of others needs at the expense of our own sanity. As mentioned before, support groups can help. Trusting enough to leave your loved one in the hospice workers care, and do something you enjoy to alleviate your own stresses. It’s hard to support someone else when we don’t fill our own needs. Also maybe you have someone you can share your fears and other feelings with, an objective friend. Talking things out is definitely better than keeping them bottled up.
In conclusion Talking Hospice Care
There are no hard and fast rules for any healthcare decisions these days but some are easier than others. This situation often makes us feel like we are facing death head-on and it’s not so pleasant for them or you.
Transition Care Telemetry has hospice care available in your loved ones home. They can also help you delve into the topic from their experience and knowledge.