When it comes to caring for your family, you want to be as hands-on as possible. In the beginning, it might even seem easy. But slowly, life will give you signs that it is time to get professional help. Frequent hospitalizations, trips to the ER, and a rapid decline in health are just some.
Even though it will be the right decision, it will be tough. It will be easy to feel frustrated and helpless as if you are letting go. However, bringing in professional help does not mean your family becomes less involved. Like all things in life, a partnership with caregivers can help your loved ones be as happy as they can be in the time they have left.
Starting the Conversation
Your involvement will begin with the conversation. It will probably be uncomfortable and awkward initially, but it will be better for everyone involved that you do not put this off. As soon as possible, gather all the relevant people in one place to have the discussion. You could do either set a specific date for this conversation or have it during a holiday or family gathering, with your loved one’s permission and blessing.
To start, acknowledge that your loved one has been through a lot lately. It’s best to be as open and honest with each other at this point. Let them lead the conversation and take note of their hopes and concerns before sharing your own. Remember that this is about the quality of life their remaining life.
Planning for End-of-Life Care
An important part of your discussion should be putting their affairs in order. Some key things to discuss are:
- The location and contents of their will
- Life insurance policies
- Power of attorney
- Advanced directives about DNRs (do not resuscitate orders), ventilators, and so on.
- End-of-life medical care
If the conversation has stilted moments or awkward, don’t worry. It’s only natural for the mood to shift up and down. Be ready for a long and detailed discussion. As difficult as this can be, it is a big step in the right direction to helping your loved ones enjoy their final days.
The Family is a Primary Caregiver Too
Enlisting the help of professionals doesn’t mean that you no longer have a role in caring for the patient. You and the family are still the ones who know the patient better. Working with a caregiver only means getting the help and guidance you need for what you are not equipped or trained to do.
With their help, you can focus more on creating memories and cherishing the time you have with your family. During these times, you should focus more on spending your time meaningfully through fun activities and conversations.
The Family Can Provide Mental Nurturing and Emotional Support
When you share the work of caring for a loved one with a professional, it can allow you to be the support they need. You can focus on listening to them and being present in your time together. Take this time to hold them because this simple act can be soothing and reassuring.
Your family can use this time to enjoy all your moments together instead of thinking about medication, treatments, and more.
The Bottom Line
The death of a loved one will never be easy. But that doesn’t mean you and your family can’t find happiness and comfort during the twilight years of your loved one. Hospice care does not get in the way of that. It allows you to be the person your loved one needs—a spouse, a sibling, or a friend—instead of someone only thinking about their medical needs. Work with a professional to make the most out of your time together with your family.
At Gateway Home Health and Hospice, we are committed to providing the best home care services to all families in the communities of Denver, Colorado Springs, and the Phoenix area. Work together with our trained team of professionals to make your family’s final days at home comfortable and memorable.