It can be difficult to visit with a loved one in hospice. You might put off seeing them because you don’t know what to say or how to handle it. You may wonder whether your visits make a difference. We want you to know that your presence does make a difference.
While this can be a difficult time, it's also an opportunity to have a special moment with your loved one and feel closure.
Connecting With a Loved One in Hospice Care
It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or a loved one, it can be difficult to prepare to visit someone in hospice. First, take a deep breath. This is an opportunity for you to connect with your loved one, and it could be your final chance to spend time together.
We want to share some tips for visiting someone in hospice care and how to spend quality time with them.
Be authentic with your loved one.
It's ok to laugh and share jokes and it's also ok to be sad. Don’t worry so much about the words you want to say, just make sure that your message comes from the heart. Your intention is everything.
It’s possible that your loved one will only be up for a short visit. Even if that is the case, sit with them instead of lingering by the door. If you want, hold the person’s hand or sit close to them.
Take cues from your loved one about what they want to talk about while you're there.
Your loved one may have made peace with what is happening and want to talk about it. Or, they may prefer to talk about family and friends, or even last night’s game. Let them lead.
Ask your loved one if it's ok that you visit ahead of time.
If possible, check in with your loved one or their caregiver ahead of time to ensure they’re ok with you visiting. Ask if they want you to bring a special treat or gift. You may also want to check with the hospice provider on their visitor policy during COVID.
If you can't visit in person, visit with them in other ways.
If you aren’t able to visit with your loved one in person, you can still look for ways to connect with them. Consider asking their caregiver if they can help facilitate a video chat. You could also exchange phone calls and texts, or send them a letter.
Don't force a conversation.
Not knowing what to say can go both ways. Your loved one may also be too sick or tired to maintain a conversation with you. It’s ok if you both sit silently. Just be present with your loved one and enjoy one another’s company.
Overall, visiting someone you love in hospice can be challenging emotionally. But ultimately it can be valuable to both you and your loved one for final closure in their final days. Death is a difficult topic so we offer a variety of education and resources that help patients and families prepare for every stage in a person’s condition — from when they are first diagnosed to after they pass away. At Hospice of Southwest Ohio, we are here for you.
Hospice of Southwest Ohio Celebrates Life
At Hospice of Southwest Ohio, we know that every day is a gift. Our amazing team of professionals is passionate about delivering high-quality, compassionate care every day. Hospice of Southwest Ohio offers hospice, palliative, and in-home primary care in and around the greater Cincinnati area in Clermont County, Butler County, Warren County, Hamilton County, Greene County, and Montgomery County. Call today at (513) 770-0820.