How to Mentally Prepare for a Loved One Going into Hospice Care
When you’re preparing a loved one to go into hospice care, your focus is on getting them to their new home so they can receive the support they need. But it’s just as important to create a support system for yourself. Caregiver burnout is something we see a lot here at Princeton Health Care Center. It comes from a place of love; family and friends who put their own needs aside to care for their loved one. It can feel selfish to do anything else. But taking care of yourself and preparing yourself for your loved one’s transition into hospice care will help you better aid them in this journey.
Support for Yourself
It’s important to build your own support network, and that network starts with you. If you’re not willing to set aside time for your own needs, there’s not much anyone else can do for you. But where do you find that time? The list of things to do to prepare your loved one for hospice care can seem endless. If there aren’t enough hours in the day, how do you find a few minutes for yourself?
One of the best things you can do is create a list. Write down everything that needs to be done in order to help your loved one make the move to hospice care. Each day, pick a manageable number of tasks from that list. This can help break you out of the pattern of “keep going until it’s all done.” Once you’re done with the day’s list, give yourself permission to stop. It’s a learned skill, but it will make a big difference. And make sure you don’t jump right into another list of responsibilities. Take time to do something relaxing, even if it’s playing on your phone for 15 minutes. Those little breaks make a big difference.
Support from Friends
Your loved one is going through a lot. But so are you, and it’s important not to forget that. To help get through the complicated web of emotions that come with preparing a loved one for hospice care—sadness, frustration, exhaustion—it’s important to have someone you can confide in. Keeping everything inside is a surefire way to feel overwhelmed. You don’t need to find someone to talk to everyday. Even just a weekly cup of coffee with a friend, or a quick phone call to vent, can serve as incredible release valves for the stress you’re feeling.
Support from a Counselor
As we said, the emotions you’re likely feeling during this trying time are complicated. Sometimes, you may feel angry or frustrated with the person making the transition to hospice care. Then you get a healthy dose of shame for feeling those emotions. But this is all normal to feel, though it feels awful to feel this way. A counselor or support group can help you work through these emotions in a positive way, rather than simply beating yourself up over them and forcing them back down.
Hospice Care You Can Trust
It’s also vital to ask as many questions as you need to of healthcare and hospice care providers. If you’d like to speak to someone about hospice care or hospice home care in Princeton, WV, call Princeton Health Care Center at 304-487-3458. We’re here to provide any answers and support that you need.