How to Help Hospice Patients Enjoy Their Holidays

Felix Garcia

While the holidays are a time of great joy and happiness for the majority of the population, they can also be a time of great sadness and grief for some. As we enter the holiday season, hospice patients tend to experience increased pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, which can make the holiday season exceptionally challenging for them.

The following are some tips and suggestions that can help hospice patients, their families, and friends enjoy the holidays in a special way.
Hospice Valley

Involve the patient in activities - As we move into the holiday season, people are starting to enjoy parties, events, and gifts. You should keep in mind that hospice patients can also enjoy participating in activities as well. Whether it is going out to eat with the family, attending an event with them, or just simply conversing about things you have in common. As a result of bringing something different into the daily routine of the patients, you will be able to bring some joy to their lives.

Share a quiet moment - There are many activities to keep a patient occupied during the holidays, but it is important to find some quiet time with the patient, too. For instance, the patient may enjoy activities like reading, listening to music, and watching old movies.

Volunteer - Hospice care involves the patient and his or her family, friends, and other caregivers. It would be greatly appreciated if you could help with grocery shopping, cooking, doing the dishes, laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the house, and, most importantly, taking care of the patient whenever you can.

Have fun - During the holidays, it is vital to remember that the holidays should be filled with fun and laughter for the whole family. When you laugh, you can release tension and ease your stress. Think positively, it will make you and the patient more comfortable and will make the experience more enjoyable.

Be there for the patient - As part of hospice care, patients are supported emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Sometimes family and friends can provide patients with the most important support they will ever receive. As the illness advances, a patient may feel as though he or she is alone. Let them know that you have been thinking of them or reassuring them that they are not alone can help ease their fears and provide a sense of positivity in their lives.

Say “I love you” often - There is no better way for patients to feel loved and appreciated than to be shown expressions of love. Despite this, many people feel that expressing their affection to their loved ones may upset them. Taking time out of your busy schedule to share your love with a loved one is okay during the holiday season. Telling someone "I love you" is not only reserved for romantic relationships. In all forms of relationships, it is acceptable to express your love for your friends, children, other family members, and even your pet.

Say “I’m sorry” - For most of us, saying "I'm sorry" is one of the most challenging things we will ever have to do. Still, it is vital that you extend your sincere apology to the individuals you love. As humans, we all make mistakes, and we should take responsibility when these mistakes happen. It would still be possible for the patient to hear you even if he or she is in an unresponsive state.
Hospice Valley

Support grieving family members - Many family members and loved ones experience a great deal of sorrow during the holidays. As the patient’s health declines, it becomes increasingly difficult for family members to watch their loved-ones suffer. This grief can be especially palpable during the holidays. During this time of heightened emotion, friends and family members can benefit from your support.

Try to keep holiday traditions - For most families, the holiday season is a time for family gatherings and reunions. Although, this is not always possible if your loved one is a patient in the hospital or a resident of a nursing home. Although it may be difficult to create a sense of togetherness from the decorations in the patients' rooms, cooking a special holiday meal, singing holiday songs, or playing holiday music, something can still be done. Customs and traditions serve to define a family's identity.

Acknowledge the patient’s spiritual needs - In general, a lot of people feel uncomfortable about discussing religion or spiritual beliefs with their loved ones, but talking about spiritual feelings with our family and friends actually helps. Throughout the years, our spiritual needs may change. The importance of acknowledging and supporting the patient's spiritual needs is important, even when those needs change over time.

Be careful when sharing religious views - It may be important to some of us to share our religious beliefs with loved ones. On the other hand, there are people who do not want to share their religion with others. You should avoid statements such as "This is what God wanted", or "It was meant for this to happen". You can approach your loved one with a sensitive and effective approach by asking them about their religious beliefs and opinions.

Make a donation - Donating to hospice is one of the best ways of giving a gift that keeps on giving. Various ways exist to make a financial contribution to hospice. In some cases, people choose to make a gift in memory of a loved one. People may also give in honor of a caregiver or in support of a caregiver. Another way to give back to the hospice is by donating gift items for the hospice, such as candle gifts, blankets, or artwork. If you would like to donate some of your time, you could also make bird and squirrel feeders, or craft activity bags.

Visit hospice patients - There are many people who recognize the importance of hospice services for a patient suffering from a life-limiting illness. Holistic care for patients and loved ones can include many factors, such as medical care, emotional support, and spiritual care. Families are an integral part of the hospice team, and they can visit the hospice patient at any time. Whether you are giving or not giving a gift, it doesn't matter, the patients welcome you and will be very grateful for your support.

Be prepared to say “no” - In some patients, it may be the case that they try to push themselves too hard. The holiday season may cause them to feel that they must attend every event and visit every friend in order to keep up with the festive spirit. If a patient doesn't attend every event or visit every friend, they may feel guilty about this. It is not selfish on the part of the patient to take a break from community activities. A time of rest and relaxation is quite appropriate for hospice patients throughout the holidays.
Hospice Valley

A simple activity can make all the difference to your patient. A visit to the patient, baking cookies, or singing a song is just a few ways to show your support. Sharing memories is also an excellent way to show your support. For many people, the holiday season can be a difficult time of year. However, the hospice team will be there to assist and support you during this difficult time.

The focus of hospice care is not the end of life, but rather living life to the fullest. Holiday activities should be kept as simple as possible so that the patient doesn't feel left out. During the holiday season, families hold incredible memories. By involving the patient in the festivities, you can make this time a truly memorable experience.

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There are a number of benefits that you can get from hospice services that I would like to discuss. My aim is to reach out and educate the community on what hospice care is in order to help them make an informed decision about their care. Any questions or concerns that you may have would be my pleasure to address in any way that I can, if I am able to assist you. If you would like to leave a comment, or if you would like to message me directly, please feel free and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Mission Hills, CA

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