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Giving Thanks To Hospice Caregivers

When you have a family member with a terminal illness or who is extremely old and nearing their death, you generally choose to keep them in a hospice. It isn’t easy to deal with this kind of situation, and most family members are fearful of death and dying. At a time like this, the services that hospice caregivers provide can be invaluable. The way they look after old and dying individuals can be extremely humbling. 

Not only are they tender and compassionate, but they are also very attentive and wise. They know how to deal with the patients and support the patient’s families as well. Most people would give up early on if they did not have a hospice team by the side during this trying time.

Hardworking Selfless Professionals

Hospice care workers are extremely skilled professionals that have vast training in the industry. They provide emotional nutritional, spiritual, and medical care to individuals with terminal and long-term illnesses, and their families. These people include therapists, nurses, as well as social workers. Not every caregiver can be a hospice worker. 

These individuals work unpredictable and lengthy hours, and no two days are the same. They work consistently so that their patients and the families are less stressed and burdened with the situation they are going through. Dealing with death every single day is something that needs a specific skill set, and hospice caregivers work very hard to keep their patients comfortable.

Even at the best times, a hospice workers’ role can be extremely trying and emotionally taxing. Given all these aspects, it is an excellent idea to thank hospice caregivers in every way you can. Showing them some appreciation helps to lift their spirits and tells them what they do matters a great deal to many people. 

How to Give Thanks to Caregivers 

There are many different ways in which you can show them a certain amount of appreciation for everything they do, not just for the patient but you as a family member as well:

1. Give Them a Flower Bouquet 

Pick up some cheerful flowers for them when you’re on your way to the hospice. It is a great way to enliven their mood and a very thoughtful touch, which shows your appreciation. If you cannot deliver the flowers yourself, make sure that you get them delivered to the specific caregiver. In the middle of a very stressful day, it is sure to help them brighten up a bit.

2. Write a Thank-You Note

When you are giving them flowers, add a thank you note to the bouquet. You can express how much they have assisted you through the entire process and care for your loved one. A hospice worker feels that they have developed a solid bonding with each one of their patients when they provide them and their families comfort and support. Writing a heartfelt thank-you note is a small yet significant way of showing that you truly appreciate everything they are doing.

3. Gift Vouchers

You may feel that this is going way too far; however, it is a great way to thank hospice caregivers. These professionals work hard every day and are on call 24/7. All the care and attention that they give to their patients take their toll on their health. You should consider gifting them a shoe store, massage, spa, or foot care voucher. 

Hospice caregivers are often very busy, and on their feet for many hours per day, and it can affect their health. The spa or massage vouchers can help them deal with their stress in a better way. Whatever you do does not have to cost a lot, and it is the thought behind the gift that counts. It tells them that somebody notices them and appreciates everything they do and the service they provide.

These are just some of the simple ways in which you can give thanks to hospice caregivers. Thanksgiving and the holidays are a great time to do this.

Navigating Grief During The Holidays

With the holiday season approaching, most people get into a festive mood. However, families that have lost someone recently may experience a sense of excessive loss, emptiness, and grief. The festivities around you heighten this feeling. Here are some tips that can help you navigate grief around the holiday season.

1. Do Not Try To Contain Your Grief

It is essential to understand that grieving is a very normal process. If you are feeling sad, don’t be ashamed to express that emotion, even if certain people around you make you feel uncomfortable about it. You can keep those people at arm’s length and interact with others who would understand what you are going through and be supportive.

2. Recognize Your Triggers

Regardless of the type of loss you have experienced, some situations become trigger points for your grief. You must recognize these triggers that bring on sorrow and avoid situations that could be potentially upsetting; these can only extend the grieving process.

3. Do Not Over-Commit

It is best not to overcommit yourself to too many events and get-togethers. This aspect is even more essential when you are grieving. One of the best ways to minimize your burden is to avoid making promises. If you feel that certain events are going to stress you out, stay away from them, and attend only ones that you think will help with your grieving.

4. Ask For Support

If certain events are unavoidable, make it a point to ask for help. Do not try to make the entire holiday meal without some help from family or friends. Even if that’s what you have been doing for several years, make some changes now. Seek assistance from people that are close to you as that will help you navigate your grief in a better way.

5. Be Thankful For Your Memories

You know what your loved one liked or enjoyed doing. For example, if there was a song they particularly liked, make it a point to play it during the holiday season. You also have the option to cook your loved one’s favorite dish or make a toast to all the loving memories you have of that person.

6. Do Not Miss Your Therapy Sessions

It isn’t uncommon for people to get very busy over the holidays due to which they end up missing their regular therapist appointments. If you are attending any support group meetings, you may miss those around this time as well. Do not skip these sessions or appointments as they are an excellent way to keep the stresses and grief at minimal levels. Any professional support resources that you have can prove to be very beneficial when you are dealing with pain.

7. Stay Away From Overindulgence

It isn’t uncommon for those who are grieving to over-indulge in food or drink. You would have to make extra efforts to stay on track, eat healthily, and keep stresses at bay. Self-care is a crucial aspect of dealing with grief, which many people tend to overlook. 

8. Check-In With Family Members

 It is a good idea to check in with other family members that have also experienced the loss of your loved one in the manner that you have. Give yourself some time to reflect on the individual who passed and help your family members to do the same. Do not consider it to be taboo or unusual to talk about the person that is no more. You and your family members can share memories about the person that has passed. Know that there are no rules when it comes to navigating grief, and you should find what works best for you during the holidays.

How To Enhance The Quality Of Life For Your Loved One In Hospice Care

Terminally ill patients need care, compassion, and comfort. Relatives and caretakers must work to improve their quality of life during their final days. A hospice provides all the support a patient needs during the final days of their life. However, there are ways to improve their quality of life even more. Here are some ways in which you can help:

1. Give Them Control

People in hospice care often struggle because they have lost control over their life and schedule. This can lead to a feeling of helplessness, which takes a toll on a patient’s mental health. Caregivers should give patients some of the control back by letting them make a few decisions regarding their day-to-day schedule. Offer them options and let them choose what activities they prefer. It is a good idea to keep patients involved in the decision-making process as much as possible. Giving them more control over their life can help them develop some independence and confidence.

2. Be Present

A hospice will have a full-fledged team to keep your loved one comfortable, but it can’t replace the care and comfort provided by loved ones. The presence of family and friends improves a patient’s quality of life significantly, especially during the final days. Try to visit as often as you can and stand vigil by the patient’s side during their last moments. The unwavering support will give them peace by removing some of the uncertainty associated with death.

3. Communicate

Keep communication lines between you and the patient open and honest. Discuss end of life, all the practicalities, ask questions, answer your loved one’s problems, and resolve lingering issues. The last thing you want is to have regrets about missed opportunities down the line. Take time to clear the air and resolve any disputes peacefully. This can help the patient gain some peace, which will also improve the quality of their life.

4. See to Their Physical Comfort

Many chronically ill patients experience pain and discomfort every day. You need to make sure they’re as comfortable as they can be by providing things like pain medication, heat or cold pads, ointments, etc. You can also have a professional massage expert come in to help soothe some muscle stiffness. Most hospices have qualified physical therapists on their staff to keep patients active. Exercise and physical therapy help patients regain some independence and flexibility.

5. Helping with Appetite

Many chronically ill patients experience appetite loss, especially as they approach death. This can be difficult to handle for the patients and their caregivers. The hospice will provide a detailed diet plan to help patients get all the nutrition they need, but you can help by bringing their favorite food items. Look for food that is light on the stomach and stimulates the appetite. Treats might uplift the patient’s mood and brighten their day. If the patient has completely stopped eating or drinking, place some ice in their mouth to keep it from getting too dry.

6. Offer Emotional Support

Patients in hospice care are vulnerable to anxiety, restlessness, and depression. Consistent emotional support from loved ones can help stabilize volatile emotions. Patients are less likely to become depressed if their relatives visit regularly and offer comfort. Maintain a calm and soothing demeanor while caring for the patient. Your calm will transfer to them and help them feel less agitated.

7. Improve the Environment

Improve the patient’s environment by bringing in some flowers, lighting scented candles, and placing a few family photographs around their bed. You can also play some soothing music in the room to help relax them.

Small things like regular conversations, can improve the patient’s quality of life significantly. You can ask the hospice staff for advice if you want to do more.

Grief Support Options For Losing Someone You Love

Grief is a powerful, overwhelming state of mind. Losing someone who has been a vital part of your life can impact you in many ways, and sometimes your reaction can be unexpected. That’s why it is critical to seek out support after losing someone you love. Everyone has a different way of coping with grief, and there’s no right or wrong method.

But it is essential to ensure your way of coping isn’t destructive. People can become lost in grief, which can have a significant impact on their personal and professional life. Fortunately, there are many support options available today:

1. Connect with Friends and Family

A burden shared is a burden halved. Sometimes grieving is easier if you are in the company of people who are also experiencing it. Speak with your friends and family, share good memories of the lost loved one, and share your pain. This can help you accept the loss and realize you’re not alone.

2. Seek out Bereavement Counseling

Being with friends and family offers comfort to some but, can it be a burden to others. It is easy to ignore your pain or convince yourself to be strong for someone else’s sake. Bereavement counseling can be beneficial in these circumstances. It allows people to focus on themselves instead of trying to support other members of their family. Counselors aren’t connected to your family and aren’t experiencing grief. There’s no need to stay strong or control your emotions in their company.

3. Join Support Groups

Counselors offer practical support, but they can appear distant. Support groups provide a good compromise between family members who are experiencing the same loss and professional counselors. You are with people who have gone through or are going through the same pain, but there’s no personal connection. Grieving individuals can share the full extent of their experiences with the support group. For example, long-term caregivers often feel relief after their loved one has passed away. A support group can show them this feeling isn’t all that uncommon.

4. Get Away from the Familiar Environment

If you were living with the person you lost, the familiar home environment might become stifling. Get away from your home or town for a few days to get some distance. Many people feel less overwhelmed and stressed out when they’re away from the familiar environment. Go to comfortable and peaceful places to collect your thoughts. For example, a visit to a nearby beach and spend a day there. The sound of waves and the vastness of the sea might help you feel calmer.

5. Draw Comfort from Spirituality and Faith

Many grieving individuals find comfort in their faith and spirituality. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can visit a nearby Church, Mosque, or Temple to find some comfort. You can also speak with a priest, read scriptures, and find solace in God. Faith doesn’t work for everyone, but it can support people who believe in religion or spirituality. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a local religious establishment during your time of grief.

6. Find Support on Social Media

Social media is a blessing for people in pain because it offers some level of anonymity. Many individuals find it easier to share their true feelings with their online friends. There’s no pressure to be restrained or to mince your words. You can find support groups on websites like Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr with a simple search. If it isn’t possible to get support in real life, reach out online for some help. 

There are no rules when it comes to grieving. Everyone finds their way to deal with the pain. Getting support ensures you stay on the safest path and don’t lose control of your life.