You may be worried about making mistakes when visiting your loved one in hospice care. The caregiver will be assisting you so that you do not interfere with your loved one's treatment and simply being there is enough for your loved one. But there are some things you can do to make yourself more helpful while visiting.
Call Before Visiting
Always call ahead of time to find out if it is a good time to visit. Also, plan to stay for only a few minutes because your loved one may not have the energy for a long visit. Then, ask the person visiting if he or she would like you to stay for longer. Always ask ahead of time if it is okay to bring children.
You do not have to change how you interact with your loved one, since acting strange might make him or her uncomfortable. If you're used to having comfortable silences, you don't have to talk if you do not want to. Also, if touch was not traditionally a part of your your relationship, now is not the time to introduce it.
Don't Interfere with Your Loved One's Schedule
Make sure you do not interfere with anything scheduled for the day such as meal time or the administering of a particular medication. Ask ahead of time if you can bring a particular food because your loved one might have a request, but there might also be restrictions regarding what your loved one can eat.
Talk with the Caretaker First
If possible, meet with the caretaker before to discuss what you can expect and what you can or cannot do. Some patients in hospice care will want to entertain you by watching TV or playing a game. Clarify that you will be willing to do these things, but that you also understand if your loved one needs to sleep. If your loved one liked to read, consider reading to him or her. Ask about whether there is anything that your loved one needs you to do, such as writing a letter.
Find Someone Else to Visit With Your Loved One
Find someone who is willing to be available around-the-clock to help you when your loved one is in hospice care. That individual should be a friend or family member who is trusted. This individual will advocate for your loved one and make sure that his or her needs are met.
Seek Support Services
Hospice teams provide bereavement support for family members as they are in the midst of the grieving process. You may have a counselor visit and also make phone calls and write letters. Also, if you believe it is necessary, you can receive professional mental health services.
To learn more, contact a hospice care facility like Carolina East.