It’s never easy to see your parents, grandparents, or any other loved one needing hospice care. You may not be the one suffering through the illness and the pain itself, but it doesn’t mean the emotional distress for you as a family won’t be there. Of course, the caregiving required could also be difficult for the family, who may be busy with work or other responsibilities. Needless to say, the physical, psychological, and emotional health of the family may be affected.
Hospice families can experience feeling empty, desperate, or guilty. Some fear the thought of living without their loved ones. Most suffer from insomnia and fatigue.
So how can a family cope with the stress that comes with this kind of situation? Golden Rule Hospice shares some helpful tips:
Come to Terms with Your Feelings
It’s not uncommon for families of people receiving hospice care to try to bury their feelings – especially ones that have to do with the terminal illness. But the thing is, there’s no way around it, and the more you try to suppress your feelings, the heavier it can become.
It would be better if you express your feelings. You can choose to talk with other members of the family or your friends. If you aren’t comfortable talking to someone about your feelings, you can write about it in your journal and even cry when you need to. Anything you can do to unload the heaviness in your heart, you should do.
Share the Responsibilities
You might feel like you have to take on more responsibilities to contribute. You might even want to keep busy because you’d rather do different tasks instead of having time to think about what’s really going on. However, if you try to do everything at once and never rest, there’s a higher chance that you’ll get fatigued. Instead of being available to help the family, you might stress yourself too thin to be of any help to anyone.
Don’t Forget to Make Time for Yourself
Naturally, the entire family would want to focus on their ill loved one, but you shouldn’t forget about yourself. It’s okay to take some time to take care of yourself. Remember that you cannot take care of others if you are not well. So invest in your health, too.
Have enough sleep. Eat healthy. Do your regular exercises. You can also try meditating or getting a massage, as these could help ease away your stress. You should also allocate time for things that you enjoy doing: sports, arts and crafts, reading a book, or others.
Get In-Home Hospice Care
No one will fault you for wanting to take care of your loved one the best way possible. And you should know that a professional who has experience in in-home hospice care is the best person to do it. This way, you know that your loved one is in good hands, and you can still care for them when you have time while at the same time handling your other responsibilities and taking care of yourself, too.
There are instances when pain, stress, and grief simply won’t go away on their own. You might feel helpless and lost to see your beloved family member suffering. While it does pay to be strong during these times, there’s nothing wrong with seeking counsel from a professional, especially if the emotional toll on you is affecting your life significantly, too.
Taking care of an ill loved one is not an easy task, and it can be challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. But by following the tips above, you could find it easier to handle the stress associated with having a family member receive hospice care.
If you need assistance in caring for a family member who has fallen ill, Golden Rule Hospice is here to help you. We offer the best hospice care in Atlanta. Call us at (470) 395-6567 to know more about our in-home hospice care services!