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  • Writer's pictureHospice of the Fisher Home

Hospice Topics: What is Bereavement Care?

Bereavement is an incredibly profound part of hospice care. It’s a term that covers the complex emotions and experiences associated with loss and grief. Understanding bereavement is not only crucial for those directly experiencing their end-of-life stages, but also for caregivers, loved ones, and healthcare professionals

bereavement scrabble pieces

Bereavement is often mixed up with grief, but they have very different meanings. Grief is a reaction to loss while bereavement is the period of loss where you experience grief. We promise, this period of time does not have to be tackled alone. Through bereavement care, you can identify strengths, difficulties, stressors, and coping mechanisms to guide you through this time. To learn more about the Fisher Home’s bereavement program [click here]. To donate to our ongoing work, click the button below. 

Defining Bereavement

Bereavement specifically refers to the period of mourning and adjustment that follows the death of a loved one. It encompasses the emotional, psychological, and even physical responses to loss. The process of bereavement can vary greatly from person to person, influenced by factors such as cultural background, religious beliefs, and the nature of the relationship with the deceased. 

Understanding Bereavement Care

Bereavement care is a specialized form of support provided to individuals who are grieving the loss of a loved one. According to the Spring 2018 National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Member Newsletter, bereavement care is an integral part of hospice. It incorporates a range of services and interventions aimed at helping individuals through the emotional, psychological, and spiritual impact of loss. While hospice care primarily focuses on providing comfort and dignity to patients nearing the end of their lives, bereavement extends its reach to support the grieving process of family and friends after their loved one has passed away.

bereavement candles lit in memory

At the Fisher Home, our bereavement counselor provides bereavement services for 13 months after the loss of a loved one. We also offer:

  • A drop-in bereavement support groups

  • A walking group

  • An expressive bereavement arts group

  • A book group

Components of Bereavement Care

  1. Counseling and Support Groups

One of the fundamental aspects of bereavement care involves providing counseling services and facilitating support groups. These platforms offer individuals the opportunity to express their feelings, share their experiences, connect with peers who understand their journey, and receive guidance. 

  1. Education and Resources

Bereavement care also involves providing education about the grieving process and offering resources that can help individuals navigate their grief. This may include literature, workshops, online resources, and information sessions tailored to specific aspects of bereavement. 

  1. Continued Support

Grief doesn’t follow a linear path or a specific timeline, and individuals may experience the effects of loss long after it occurs. Bereavement care is an ongoing need, which is recognized by those who help the grieving. 

  1. Customized Approaches

Everyone’s experience of grief and bereavement is unique. Bereavement care acknowledges this diversity by offering personalized approaches to support. Whether it is through one-on-one counseling, group therapy, art therapy, or something else, the aim is to provide interventions that resonate with individual needs and preferences. 

The Importance of Bereavement Care

Bereavement care is an important component of hospice care. It acknowledges that the impact of loss exists beyond the moment that a loved one is gone. It recognizes the needs of grieving, no matter what they may be. By providing comprehensive bereavement support, hospices like the Fisher Home can ensure that families and friends receive the compassion, understanding, and guidance they need to navigate one of life’s most challenging experiences. 

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