How to Comfort Those in Hospice
Moving a loved one into hospice care is never an easy process. Families often feel overwhelmed by a range of emotions as they try to offer help and support in a situation they have little to no experience with. People may also be overly-worried about saying the “wrong” thing to their loved one, despite their intentions being good.
When you hear the word “hospice” it may conjure negative feelings and emotions, but helping a loved one transition into hospice care can be a peaceful experience with the right mindset. Our South Jersey hospice team has shared some tips on how to create a comfortable, tranquil environment for your loved one in hospice care.
Dim the overhead lights. We’ve all been in offices and shopping malls with bright, overhead fluorescent lighting, so you can imagine how uncomfortable bright lights can be to those with certain sensitivities and illnesses. If it’s possible, we recommend keeping the overhead lights switched off and using several lamps throughout your loved ones room instead. Lamps provide softer, gentler light that is easier on the eyes and creates a more relaxing atmosphere.
Don’t be afraid to sit in silence with your loved one. Sitting in silence doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable experience. Both you and your loved one are processing many emotions and thoughts. Your physical presence alongside them is often a big comfort in and of itself. Sitting in silence allows everyone to work through their feelings, practice meditation, and if you’re religious, it can be an ideal time to pray.
Maintain a quiet environment. People in hospice can easily become overwhelmed by loud sounds, bright lights, and too much general commotion. Don’t leave the TV turned on all the time, and when it is on keep the volume low. Don’t speak too loudly with other people while in your loved one’s room. Minimizing loud noises and commotion can help your loved one avoid feeling agitated and stressed.
Adapt a gentle touch. Things like gently holding a loved one’s hand or a soft touch on the arm can be very comforting to those in their final stages of life. Gentle touches let your loved one know you’re there and it helps them feel connected with you.
Jersey Shore hospice care
Making the decision to put a loved one in a hospice care community is never an easy one. Terminally ill people often reach a point where they need around-the-clock specialized assistance that may be difficult or impossible to administer at home.
At Bridges at The Shores, our hospice community in Cape May County, we strive to provide a peaceful, nurturing environment for all of our residents. Our multidisciplinary approach includes nurses, social workers, chaplains and pain management specialists who attend to our residents’ physical, social, and emotional needs. Our priority is making both our residents and their family members feel as comfortable as possible.
To learn more about hospice care in South Jersey, please visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/theshores/