Visiting a loved one in hospice care can be a difficult experience on some levels, and people don’t always know how to handle it. They may not want to see someone they love in a physically or mentally deteriorated state, or they may be overcome by the fact that this person is no longer seeking curative treatment. And yet, visiting someone who is receiving hospice care at home or inpatient hospice care in a nursing home, hospital or stand-alone hospice facility is one of the most important things you can do for them. Hospice care and other nonprofit senior care services are intended to make people comfortable, but physical comfort isn’t the only comfort needed. Many hospice patients are yearning to see those they love, and you can help by simply being there.
With that said, there are some things you should remember when you visit someone in hospice care.
Some people who are on hospice care are unable to accept visitors at a moment’s notice, because of the nature of their state of health. Make sure to call ahead and give notice before stopping by to see them. Even if that notice is just 15 minutes, it will give your loved one a chance to get ready to see you.
If your loved one is in an inpatient hospice care department, there are sometimes regular visiting hours that are convenient for the staff and patients. Plan your visits around these hours, but don’t forget the first point about calling ahead. With this said, most inpatient hospice care facilities will make exceptions for emergency situations. Family is often able to stay the night with a loved one, especially if their health is quickly deteriorating.
When you arrive to see your loved one, make yourself comfortable. Take off your coat if you’re wearing one, and pull up a chair so you can sit and have a conversation. Do this even if you’re only planning a brief visit. It may seem inconsequential, but it shows that you want to be there.
A casual conversation with humor (if appropriate) is sometimes the best medicine for someone receiving hospice care. Don’t talk to your loved one like someone who is dying; talk to them like you’ve always talked to them. Talk about the weather, mutual friends, your favorite movies, inside jokes or anything else you would talk about if they were in a different situation.
Sometimes people in hospice are mostly unresponsive and won’t be able to have much of a conversation, but you can still make your visit count simply by being there with them. You can sit quietly with them and listen to music while holding their hand. They will appreciate it, even if they can’t tell you.
When you visit someone in hospice care, the most important thing is that you are there for them. It may seem difficult at first, but your visit will be more rewarding and meaningful than you know. Always make the time you have left with your loved ones count, no matter what.
If someone you hold dear is in need of hospice care services, get in touch with Good Samaritan Hospice. Our at home or in-patient hospice care focuses on living out every day to the fullest, making each day matter while ensuring the comfort of our patients and their families. You don’t have to face this difficult time alone. Make sure you and your loved ones have all the physical, emotional and spiritual assistance you need and contact Good Samaritan Hospice today. Call our office at 724-933-8888 or visit our website here.
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