If you have a loved one who will be going into hospice care, and you have children, prepare them for the experience. This is particularly important if the hospice room will be set up in your home. Your children will need to know what to expect, especially if they have a close bond with the person who is going into hospice care. Here are some tips that will help you prepare your children for the experience.
Show Your Children the Equipment
If your loved one will be on hospice care in your home, the hospice room will be filled with medical equipment. Not only that, but there will be healthcare providers on hand to help with your loved one's care. To make sure that your children are prepared for the experience, take the time to familiarize them with the sights and sounds. If possible, take your children to a medical supply store and allow them to see the equipment that will be moved into the hospice room. It's also important that you introduce them to the healthcare providers who will be in the home.
Give Your Children Responsibilities
Once your loved one is in the home, and receiving hospice care, your children may experience significant emotional changes. One way to alleviate some of the stress is to give your children some responsibilities. Give your children age-appropriate responsibilities that they can carry out around the house. For instance, older children can help with the linens, or bring meals to the room. Younger children can help tidy up the room from time-to-time. Giving children things to do can help them feel connected to the situation.
Avoid Speaking in Whispers
If your children will be present during hospice care, avoid speaking in whispers. Hushed tones can lead to stressful situations for children, especially where the illness of a loved one is concerned. When appropriate, allow children to be involved in the conversations. When sensitive issues do need to be discussed, wait to begin the discussion until children aren't present.
Know When to ask for Help
If your children will be present for hospice care, know when to ask for help. Children may not know how to let you know that they're dealing with emotional distress. Some children will not be willing to share those emotions with you, especially if they're having a difficult time coping with them. If your children begin to withdraw from you, lose their appetites, or behave in ways that are out-of-character for them, seek help as soon as possible.
For more information about hospice care, contact a company like Aspen Healthcare Services.