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Palliative & Hospice Support

Each patient is different. A loved one may exhibit variations of any or all of the conditions during their transition. Please feel free to discuss any questions, concerns, or preferences regarding treatment with staff.

If at any time you would like to participate in your loved one’s care, ask the nurse for guidance. Being able to provide a loving touch and physical support can be very comforting. We realize that not all families are comfortable with the requirements of physical care. You may want to simply sit quietly and hold your loved one’s hand. Feel free to talk to them and let them know you are near. Your presence at this time is a wonderful gift to them, and a precious memory for you to hold onto in due time.

What caregivers and loved ones should do for physical relief and healing:

❖ Take care of yourself physically by having a check-up with your family physician
❖ In the early stages of grief, don’t force yourself to eat more than you want. As your appetite returns, eat a healthy, well balanced diet
❖ Get some exercise, even a peaceful, quiet walk. Physical exercise helps you relax
❖ It may be helpful to give up caffeine as a way to relive nervousness. Beware of alcohol, which is a depressant. Some findings indicate that alcohol interrupts normal sleep patterns
❖ Check frequently that you have balance in your life

What caregivers and loved ones should do for emotional relief and healing:

❖ Be gentle with yourself. Although you may often feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that what you are going through is normal
❖ Reach out to others. It is important to find friends with whom you can talk. Sharing with someone who has gone through a similiar experience can be helpful
❖ Tell and re-tell what happened, remembering things about your loved one and the experience of their death. Good memories are very important
❖ Be aware that people grieve in different ways. Don’t measure your progress in handling grief against others
❖ You may or may not cry often, but when you do, realize it is therapeutic
❖ Confront guilt by realizing you did the best you could
❖ Become familiar with the normal experiences of grieving and be willing to engage in your own grief work
❖ Remember that grieving takes time and that experiences and emotions can recur
❖ Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to heal at your own pace
❖ Be aware of being critical of yourself, either consciously or unconsciously, due to unrealistic expectations
❖ Other events in your life may also be grieving situations. Realize this happens to many people and these situations can complicate the process
❖ Find support from both inside and outside of your family. But, don’t expect your family to meet all of your needs. Remember that they will also be grieving
❖ Asking for help from caring people can make a big difference
❖ If your previous style of grieving has not been helpful, be willing to try new approaches 

If you have questions about different support options during this time, please contact the Palliative Hospice Care Coordinator at 740-687-8654.