“Hospice” can feel like a scary word – especially to those who are being told that it is time to enter hospice care. As a loved one, starting a conversation with your terminally ill friend or family member surrounding this subject can seem extremely difficult. In turn, the transition to hospice care comes with far more bumps in the road emotionally and mentally.
In our experience at the Hospice of the Fisher Home, the real hang-up is the preconceived notion of what hospice is. When many think of it, their brain comes up with somewhere that is bleak, stark, hopeless, and uncomfortable. But, this could not be further from the truth. In reality, a hospice provides comfort and support during a difficult time.
At the Fisher Home, we understand that the first step of the journey is incredibly hard, especially when your loved one is resistant to hospice care. That is why we have gathered some tips to help you ease your mind and navigate the conversation. If you appreciate our work, consider donating today!
How do you know that your loved one is ready for hospice?
There are a few important indications that your loved one is physically ready for hospice. For example, when a cure is no longer an option. This can come with a diagnosis or it can come when all other options have already been exhausted. Additionally, your loved one may be ready for hospice when it feels too overwhelming for you to care for your loved one on your own.
Once a medical professional has discussed a prognosis and suggested hospice, then it is likely time to look into your local hospice care facilities or work on developing a comfortable environment in your space for at-home hospice care.
What does a hospice transition entail?
While the transition into hospice care can be daunting, it will benefit everyone in the long run. At the Fisher Home, we aim to make the transition as easy as possible with a well-rounded, kind, and knowledgable staff!
When your loved one is moving into hospice it is important to prioritize their care above anything else. This means that you should make sure symptoms are managed and their mental well-being is taken into account. Offer emotional support where it feels appropriate and think about their wishes throughout the process. Additionally, use the resources that hospice has available like bereavement counselors and experienced medical professionals.
Transitioning to Hospice Care At Home
Transitioning into hospice care does not always mean entering a facility. Your loved one can receive specialized care right where they currently reside through a hospice care provider, like the Fisher Home. But, some changes will need to be made in the home. For example, new equipment may be entering the house, so rugs might need to be moved. Adding nightlights, handrails, privacy screens, and grab bars throughout the home can prove beneficial, too.
Making these changes, and knowing which ones to make, can feel a little overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask your at-home hospice care provider questions. You can ask their recommendations for changes within the home, what services can be expected, the staff hours, emergency protocols, and what is expected for you as a loved one!
Read more about at-home hospice care [here].
Transitioning to Hospice Care at a Hospice
At our hospice facility, like many others, we are well-versed in making the transition to hospice as comfortable as possible. We aim to help you and your terminally ill loved one every step of the way! For this transition, let us take care of the medical side and together we can organize care.
5 things you can do when your loved one is resistant to hospice care
If your loved one is resistant to hospice care, we understand. It is daunting in many ways. Nevertheless, conversations around hospice are incredibly important. So, we have some tips on how to navigate it!
Listen to their concerns and wishes - It is easy to feel a loss of control when being diagnosed with a terminal illness and making the choice to enter hospice. Remember to listen to your loved ones' concerns and wishes, offering support where you can.
Ask them what hospice is to them - Everyone has a different idea of hospice in their head. By asking this question you can get a better understanding of their fears and apprehensions surrounding hospice care.
Fill in any missing information (e.g. show them what a hospice can be outside of their notions) - After hearing what they think hospice is, you can fill them in with any extra information they may not be aware of. This can help ease their mind.
Connect them with hospice professionals - The best people to talk to in these situations can be professionals. At the Fisher Home, we have a team full of amazing people who can guide you and your loved one through the process.
Connect them with hospice patients or loved ones - Another wonderful resource when a loved one is resistant to hospice is someone who has experienced it before. Finding a person who has been through the process of hospice care with their own friend or family member and having a discussion can ease the mind of everyone involved.
Being resistant to hospice care is not uncommon. When facing this decision, overwhelming feelings are bound to happen. But, if you have a loved one who would benefit from hospice care and is refusing to talk about it, that can be frustrating. With the right information, you can help your loved one feel more at ease and give them the support they need. Remember, everyone moves at their own pace!