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Ways to Support Family or Friends on Hospice Care

When someone close to us is facing a serious illness, it can be natural to feel a bit lost on how to support them. Wanting to be there for them in the best way possible, yet we may not know what to say or do. These moments can be tough, but they can also offer opportunities for deep connection and meaningful support. Though every situation is different, here are some tips that may help you navigate these times and share meaningful moments with your loved one:

Stay Connected:

  • Call ahead – be sure to call ahead to make sure you’re visiting at a good time and if there’s anything specific, they may need or want during your visit.
  • Be present – your presence alone can be a source of comfort. It can be tempting to avoid interactions due to the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing.
  • Don’t be afraid of emotions – it’s okay to cry with them during difficult moments and laugh with them during lighter ones. Showing your genuine emotions can help strengthen your bond.
  • Physical touch – A gentle touch or holding their hand can help convey your care and support without words.

Lend A Helping Hand:

  • Cook their favorite meal – bringing meals in disposable containers can be a thoughtful gesture as it helps remove the worry of returning dishes and allows them to enjoy a familiar taste.
  • Spend time with the patient – help provide their family a break or invite them out for some relaxation.
  • Babysitting – offering to look after children can give the patient and their spouse some much-needed time together or a break.
  • Simple tasks – offering transportation, running errands, or helping with household chores can ease their burden.
  • Small gifts – giving cards or flowers can show that you’re thinking of them.
  • Household help – helping with watering plants, laundry, or doing light housekeeping can be immensely helpful.

Bring Positivity: 

  • Try to have a positive attitude – this can be a contagious source of optimism and hope during your interactions.
  • Spiritual support – If appropriate, pray together or offer spiritual support according to their beliefs.
  • Be open – Ask if they want to talk about their illness. Let them lead the conversation and express themselves.

By being present, thoughtful, and supportive, you can help create meaningful moments that uplift and strengthen your relationship during challenging times.