Encouraging Parents to Socialize After the Move to Senior Living
Finding a Balance between Physical Safety and Mental Health in Older Adults

Breaking the News That a Loved One is Going on Hospice Care

Hospice_pexels-kampus-production-7551675Photo credit Pexels Kampus Productions

When the paperwork was finally signed to get hospice care for my dad, I was grateful. There would now be a routine of care for him where he could live in comfort. That's all he really wanted. However, I knew that breaking this news to Mom would be difficult. She'd have to finally admit, and somehow accept, the fact that Dad was dying. After all, hospice care is for people diagnosed as terminally ill. A brief time after Dad's death, Mom's own terminal condition required hospice care in order to control her pain. She had told me numerous times that she was tired of living and ready to "go." Yet, I believe it still was hard for her to accept that she needed hospice care and what that meant.

Our culture has historically been devoted to cure illness at all costs, and death is often looked at as "failure," no matter the age or condition of the person being treated. Many other cultures readily accept death as part of the life cycle. I believe we, as a culture, are making progress in this direction, but death still tends to be a word people avoid. If it's up to you to inform a loved one that he or she would be more comfortable under hospice care – or that a person they love will be on hospice care – there are steps you can take to get you through this difficult transition. 

Steps to Take When Transitioning into Hospice Care: If possible, make sure the whole family is on board and understands that hospice care is palliative (comfort) care. Hospice care is not meant to cure the incurable. To be eligible...

Continue reading on Agingcare for more discussion about how we can go about helping someone understand their transition to hospice care: 

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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