Archive for January 2017

How to Deal with Anticipatory Grief

Posted on Jan 27, 2017

When a loved one enters into end of life care, it’s natural for family members to experience a reaction known as anticipatory grief. This refers to feeling grief before an impending loss. The emotions associated with anticipatory grief can be hard to understand and manage, but it’s important to remember that this is a natural and common reaction to an approaching loss of a loved one. When going through anticipatory grief here are a few helpful things to keep in mind.

Acknowledge Your Grief- A very common tendency when experiencing anticipatory grief is trying to suppress the grief because you’re loved one is still alive. It’s important to let yourself start the grieving process and not feel like you need to hide your grief. Try to find ways to express your grief in healthy ways like journaling or art.

Reach Out- Odds are you’re not the only one in your family or group of friends who is having anticipatory grief. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk about what you’re going through with other friends or family. If you’re not ready to talk with people you know yet, find an online forum or a grief counselor to talk with.

It’s Not Giving Up- Just because you accept your grief and are dealing with it doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your loved one. You can still be there to support them, love them, and care for them. Don’t feel like you’re losing all hope of recovery or accepting the inevitable. It’s okay to experience grief and still be hopeful at the same time.

Cherish the Remaining Time- Do your best to enjoy the time you have left with your loved one. When you’re with them, don’t focus on the grief just make the most of the time. Think about how they would want to spend time with you and try to make it happen.

Take Care of Yourself- Greif, even anticipatory grief, can take a huge toll on you. Make sure you’re still sticking to your regular diet and exercise schedule. Avoid the temptation to stay cooped up at home all day. Even in small doses, human interaction and fresh air will go a long way.

The biggest thing to remember is that anticipatory grief is normal, so don’t feel like you need to hide from it. If you feel like the grief is getting to be too much to handle, find an experienced grief counselor to help you work through it. 

Managing Long-distance Caregiving

Posted on Jan 23, 2017

Trying to manage end of life care for a loved one when you’re hundreds or even thousands of miles away presents a set of problems few know how to deal with. While this is certainly a difficult time, there are a few things you can do to make it more bearable.

Have an Emergency Plan

Make sure you have a written plan for emergencies your care provider can follow when needed. Having this plan will greatly reduce the stress you feel for not being there when an emergency happens. This plan should include advance directive and power of attorney for medical and financial decisions that might need to be made. A list of contacts for doctors, pharmacies, and lawyers should be included as well. In addition to this plan, ear mark some money for last minute travels and let your employer know you might need to take some time off soon.

Find the Right People

Since you can’t be there, assemble a team of people you trust to take care of your loved one’s needs. Create a list of local friends and family members who can help check in on your loved one from time to time. See if they would also be willing to meet with healthcare providers to ensure your loved one is getting the best possible care.

Maximize Visits

When you’re caring long-distance, the few moments of in person time is incredibly valuable. To make the most of every visit it’s best to talk to the healthcare provider before visiting to get an update on the condition of the loved one. Also ask if there are any appointments that will need to happen while you’re visiting. While you’re there try to take inventory of supplies in the house and double check that all bills are being paid. It’s also important to be intentional about assessing the needs of your loved one to see if their care program needs to be adjusted.

Providing end of life care via long-distance is never easy, but you can make it better. One of the best ways to facilitate long-distance care is to partner with an experienced hospice care facility like Cura-HPC. Our staff will guide you through this process and help make this difficult time easier. 

How To Explain Hospice Care To Kids

Posted on Jan 11, 2017

How To Explain Hospice Care To Kids

Wrapping your head around moving a loved one into hospice care can take some time, and this goes double for explaining hospice care to kids. When you’re explaining hospice care to your child here are a few things to keep in mind.

Just Start Talking- One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is often starting the conversation. It’s easy to keep waiting for the “right time”, but the reality is there will never be the perfect moment. Once you start the conversation, try to get to the point as soon as possible. Kids don’t have long attention spans, so try to not waste time beating around the bush. It’s also a good idea to use small words and avoid using complicated medical terms.

Defining Hospice- When explaining why you’re moving grandma or grandpa from the hospital into palliative or hospice care, the main points you need to communicate is how this will help the sick family member. Let your child know that this will make them much more comfortable and increase their quality of life.

Check For Misunderstanding- After you finish talking, ask if they have any questions about what’s happening. You might need to ask this in a few different ways to make sure they fully understand everything that’s happening. While you’re checking for questions, take time to reiterate that it’s okay to be sad and upset about this. Let them know you’re sad too and they can talk with you about what they’re feeling.

Watch for Cues- Finally, in the coming days watch out for certain cues that will show how well your child is dealing with everything. If they exhibit loss of appetite, mood swings, or loss of interest in things that use to excite them, it might be time for a follow up talk.

Explaining hospice care to kids isn’t something any parent is ever ready to do, but with these steps any parent can handle it. At CURA-HPC we want to be a resource to you and your family as you go through this difficult time. Our staff is highly skilled in taking care of both the medical and emotional aspects of end of life care.