Respecting the Space of a Loved One in Palliative Care
How to Keep a Peaceful Space for Someone in Palliative Care
Once news of a loved one’s entering palliative care spreads, it is not uncommon for friends and relatives to want to visit and spend time with them. While it is great that people should want to express their feelings or show support during this difficult time, it can also be easy to overwhelm your loved one in palliative care. This is the last thing you want to happen during an already stressful period.
Comfort Care Hospice prioritizes the wellbeing of our patients, so while we may not be providing round-the-clock in-house services, we can offer a bit of advice for dealing with families coming and going as they visit with your relative in palliative care. Here we discuss some common things we have observed and some ways you can work to avoid them, ensuring the most peaceful and restful space for your relative.
Set Times for Visitors
The first issue you may have when loved one is receiving in-home palliative care is that you end up with a room full of people all at once. While this can be fine and sometimes even encouraging, it can also be overwhelming. You have to remember that your loved one is likely in a sensitive position, and putting too much strain on them to make conversation with others can make them feel worse than they already may. By setting times for visitors or planning specific visiting times with them, you can ease the traffic and make a more peaceful environment for everyone.
Manage the Noise
Maintaining a reasonable noise level around your loved one can be difficult when the room is full of family members. It is not uncommon during these times for family members to become frustrated with one another. They may have unresolved disputes over an estate, or they may simply be struggling to deal with an emotional time. In any of these cases, if the noise becomes disruptive, it is best to see that your family members or friends deal with their problems outside of the space. Take them to a hallway or a separate room and help them regain composure.
One effective way to keep a more peaceful space is to decorate. If your loved one in palliative care is bedridden, make sure they have a comfortable space. If they’re well enough, bring them fresh flowers. If they’re not, silk flower arrangements will be just as cheery and calming. Hanging family photos or your loved one’s favorite artwork will also help them feel relaxed and comfortable.
Choose Comfort Care Hospice for Palliative Care
Comfort Care Hospice has been performing palliative and end of life care services in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for 7 years, and we intend to continue offering these vital services to our community. We work alongside patients and families to develop a care plan that will accommodate them best. To get started or inquire about our services, please give us a call at 888-330-8483.
Helping Someone in Hospice Home Care Manage Pain
Helping a Loved one Manage Pain in Hospice Home Care
While hospice home care will typically provide pain medications to patients whose end of life experience will be improved by pain relief, there may be some things you can do as a family member or close friend to help them relax.
Today Comfort Care Hospice looks at some basic things you can do for your loved one in hospice home care to ease any pain, anxiety, or stress they may be feeling. It should be noted that these methods will not replace the pain-curbing effects of properly-prescribed medications, but they may help ease tension or move their thoughts away from any discomfort they may be feeling.
This is a classic relaxation method that you may remember from times when you had a fever as a child. Some people prefer a little heat to help them relax any tension in their brow. The heat can also draw a person’s attention away from the pain they may be experiencing in the area, much like the way a corn pillow works. Others will prefer the cooling effect of a cloth soaked in cold water if they are feeling overheated or feverish. Both of these can also cover the eyes, too, if your loved one is experiencing a heightened sensitivity to light.
Utilizing essential oils such as lavender or lemon can produce a calming or relaxing effect for a loved one in hospice home care. While there are other methods for producing aromas in the air, such as burning candles or incense, you may want to avoid these because they produce smoke, which can be harmful to inhale. You should also be careful when introducing aromas that your loved one is not overly sensitive to smells due to nausea or illness.
Depending on your loved one’s state while in hospice home care, they may be totally bedridden. When patients are immobilized, it becomes easy for them to focus on their pain, which can often make it feel even worse. By reading aloud to them, telling them a story, or making simple conversation, you can help draw their attention away from their pain.
Hospice Home Care from Comfort Care
At Comfort Care Hospice, our outstanding dedication to making your loved one’s end of life experience as comfortable as possible is what sets us apart. If you have a family member who may need hospice home care, please give us a call and let us show you the compassion that drives our team. Give us a call at 888-330-8483 to get started today.
Hospice Care: Managing the Holidays
Managing the Holidays with a Loved One in Hospice Care
The holidays are not always a time of great celebration and cheer. For people who have lost a loved one who was in hospice care, or for people who currently have a loved one in hospice home care, the holidays can present some challenges.
While most people are bustling about, buying gifts, camping outside of stores to snag some great deals, and enjoying workplace holiday parties, others may feel preoccupied with the memory of a lost loved one. Others may be so concerned with a loved one in home hospice care that they feel unable to enjoy the holidays.
At Comfort Care Hospice, we’ve dealt with all manner of grief and loss situations, and we know the turbulence that the holiday season can cause in the lives of grieving families. Here we discuss some tips for understanding these situations and helping affected patients and families.
If you know someone who has a loved one in hospice care, allow them to deal with the season as they need to. They may not feel the same vigor to get up and fight holiday crowds. They may not be able to muster the emotional energy to stay long at all of the get-togethers. The worst thing you could do would be to put undue pressure on them to attend and enjoy these events when they’re not ready. Be supportive of what they are able to do.
If you know someone in hospice care, they may not feel up to celebrations either. And, depending on their condition, they may simply not have the energy. Again, don’t pressure them to do something they are not ready or willing to do. Rather, support their decisions, even if they want to keep to themselves. Let them know you care by allowing them to choose for themselves how they celebrate or do not.
People grieving a lost loved one or a loved one in hospice care may have the best intentions to perform for the season, but they may simply not have the energy. If you can manage, attend to their needs. Do them a favor and help them cook a special holiday dish. Offer to grab some things for them while you’re shopping, or simply bring them a nice gift.
If you have a loved one in hospice care this season, check in on them more often. They may be feeling the blues while everyone else seems to be bustling about. Offer to make them a favorite dish, or bring them something with a bit of holiday cheer. Even if they aren’t well enough to enjoy what you’ve prepared, the aromas of a stuffed turkey or holiday ham can help them remember joyful gatherings with family and friends.
Not everyone participates in the holidays the same way, and it is okay to take your time if you feel as if you need to be alone. You can’t rush the process of managing grief or the impending loss of a loved one.
If you know someone with a relative in hospice care, show them some extra patience. They will come around in time, even if it’s not for this holiday season. Let them know you care and save them some of the goodies, or bring them a small gift. All of it will help.
Call Comfort Care Hospice
If you’re looking for an extra way to help out this holiday season, consider becoming a volunteer with us at Comfort Care Hospice. By spending time with patients, you can ensure that they have a happier holiday season.
Or, if you or someone you know is struggling through the season because they have a relative in hospice care, one of our volunteers can give them some time away from the patient to run errands or wrap gifts. A Comfort Care Hospice volunteer will always make sure your loved one is attended to and taken care of. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.
Make the Most of Your Time with a Loved One in End of Life Care
End of Life Care: Make the Most of Your Time Together
Once you receive the news that a good friend has been put into end of life care, you may feel shy or scared to visit. You may feel as if your time together is over already. But this is not the case – you can still enjoy each other’s company. While the things you are able to do together will be limited, there is no reason that you cannot still engage in simple activities, conversations, telling shared stories, and more.
Today Comfort Care Hospice shares some tips for making the most of your time with someone in end of life care. Because many people do not know what to expect when they visit with someone on hospice, they may either avoid visiting or act nervous when they do. These tips should provide some easy strategies for lightening the atmosphere so that you can enjoy the time you still have with your friends, relatives, and loved ones.
This will depend largely on your loved one’s state of consciousness and level of pain while in end of life care, but if they are awake, aware, and feel alright, you may want to play some simple games with them. Things like Scrabble, hangman, or Boggle don’t require a lot of energy, and they can help you and your loved one focus on something light and fun.
Telling Stories, Reading
If your loved one in end of life care is not completely aware or isn’t feeling well enough for long conversations, then you may consider reading to them or sharing some stories. Pick things to read that you know they enjoy, maybe passages from a favorite book or religious text. Even if they are not able to acknowledge you, they may be able to hear your voice, and the voice of a friend is always a comfort. If you don’t want to read aloud, you could also tell stories about times you shared together. This may not only ease their experience, but it may help you begin the coping process.
If your loved one in end of life care is not fully conscious, they may still be able to hear you and feel your touch. So long as they are not in severe pain, you may want to hold their hand or place a hand on their shoulder. They may be able to feel the warmth of your touch, which can be comforting in such a time. This may also help you recognize the reality of the situation and begin to cope with the impending loss.
Choose Comfort Care Hospice for End of Life Care
Comfort Care Hospice offers a range of end of life care services in The Colony, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas. We will provide your loved one with end of life care that is compassionate, sensitive, and thorough. If you are seeking a hospice provider and you live in the area, please give us a call and let us show you the difference that great hospice care can make. Contact us at 888-330-8483.
Dealing with Families as a Hospice Care Volunteer
Tips for Talking With Families as a Hospice Care Volunteer
Hospice care volunteers perform many vital functions, giving their time and energy to end-of-life patients whose families may not be able to be present as often as they would like, performing office administrative work, or helping with special projects. Volunteers may provide conversation, comfort, and basic chores or services as needed by the patient.
But hospice care volunteers who provide companionship to the patient can sometimes find themselves in the uncomfortable position of liaison between upset and grieving family members who are not coping with the stress of losing a loved one. It is not uncommon, either, for terminal illnesses and the ensuing distribution of an estate or the executing of a will to cause familial tensions that can manifest when family members gather and visit with the patient.
If you are thinking about taking on the responsibilities of being a hospice care volunteer, read these simple tips from Comfort Care Hospice for dealing with upset and grieving family members.
Mind the Volume
As a hospice care volunteer, your duty is to the patient’s comfort first. Of course, you should remain sensitive to the wishes of the family as well, but if a family member’s emotions are becoming a disruption in the environment, you may want to take action. Comfort them, hear their concerns, and if necessary, step outside the room with them to help them cool off. The last thing you want to do is upset the patient, so be sure to focus on their needs.
Some family members who are unable to be present will want to communicate with you about their loved one. They may be grateful for the time you’re spending with their relative, but they may also want to make sure you are doing everything according to their wishes. Remember that your duty is to the patient, and while family members may want to dictate what you do,
Learn to Listen
Chances are that you may encounter some sensitive situations as a hospice care volunteer. But listening to the wishes and needs of others will ensure that you are able to make the best decisions. Families and patients alike are going through difficult times, and being responsive to them will only further demonstrate how much you care.
Become a Hospice Care Volunteer
When you become a hospice care volunteer, you show compassion and sensitivity to people who really need it. And you’re an asset to patients’ families as well. You spend time with their loved one during times when they are not available or when they just can’t emotionally deal with the situation.
At Comfort Care Hospice, our volunteers perform a variety of functions that are integral to our mission. They may perform direct patient support, offering companionship to patients, reading them a book, running basic errands, making phone calls to grieving families, and sending care packages. They may also perform administrative support in our offices or work on special projects such as scrapbooking, quilting, or health fairs. If you are interested in this gratifying and meaningful work, please contact us today.