Coping Tips When a Loved Ones Enters Hospice

The end-of-life is never easy on loved ones, and hospice offers the care and compassion necessary on a person's final days or weeks. Hospice also helps the family deal with the grief that comes with a loved one who is dying.

1 People Recommend This Page
Coping Tips When a Loved Ones Enters Hospice
4 Min Read November 9th, 2021
Mallory Knee

Freelance writer where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty

We hear the term "hospice" often, but do you understand what hospice care is and how the family copes when their loved one enters hospice? There comes the point in a person's life when they no longer respond to a medical condition's treatment. They may have a serious illness where there is no hope for a cure. Sometimes a person forgoes a treatment that presents little hope for success but would bring a poor quality of life. 

When the illness is not responding to medical attempts to cure it or slow the disease's progress fails, hospice care is the next step. Hospice is generally offered when a person's terminal illness has reached the point that their doctor believes they have six months or less to live if the disease runs its natural course.

Priorities for Hospice Care

Comfort and quality of life are the priorities when a person enters hospice care, and the goal is to reduce the pain of suffering that comes at the end of life. Beginning at-home hospice care provides a genuinely dignified, graceful end-of-life experience for your parent or loved one, but coping with it yourself is beyond difficult.

Hospice care is provided either at home or in a facility like a nursing home, hospital, or hospice center. A trained hospice professional will visit regularly, and someone on staff is available at any time, day or night.

The staff is more than just medical professionals.  The team includes social workers, spiritual care providers, and other professionals that support patients and their families talk about their fears, anger, and grief.

Health insurance and Medicarewill pay for most hospice services, but the maximum length of eligibility for hospice is six months. On occasion, additional assistance may be required - or - the person lingers longer than expected. Long-Term Care Insurance, if the care recipient owns a policy, will typically pay for additional hospice services if required. 

Comfort for Everyone at the End-of-Life

The first time my father mentioned it coming back from the doctor, he passed it off as no big deal. The reality ended up being that he needed help from us to find comfort at the end of his life. 

Learning how to cope with a loved one entering hospice care required being patient and honest with myself as a human being and is something I continue to work on even now that he is gone.

Coping involves 'feelings.' Feelings include dealing with and expressing acceptance and guilt, for example. You and your family don't have to do this alone. Hospice social workers understand the emotional aspects that are involved in caring for a terminally ill loved one. 

Ask Each and Every Question You Have

Most of us don't interact with severe illness, end-of-life care, or loss in such an intimate way until the moment it's happening to our parents. I found every procedure, expectation, and legal process disorientating at the time. The most empowering phrase that I discovered for myself was "I don't understand."

Hospice care teams, physicians, and even family members want to be there to help you all. Asking questions openly and honestly helps the whole family understand the overwhelming information you're being given. These answers will also provide the sense of solid ground necessary to recover from painful news.

Be a Resource for Your Family

When I say be a resource, I don't mean to suggest that it's fair or right for you to bear the brunt of this situation exclusively. I still struggle with resentment, guilt, and pain that being assigned "the one in charge" instilled in me then, and I regret letting it happen.

Instead, I mean to say that your entire family unit will be looking for support as your shared loved one begins receiving hospice care. You will likely be among those trying to understand what you're feeling and trying to process everything that's changing in your world. The greatest gift you can give to your loved one receiving care is to be one among the many who choose to fill their shoes and give others a shoulder to cry on.

Allow Yourself to Express Emotions

One of the most important tips I can offer on coping with a loved one entering hospice care is to allow yourself to feel. Hearing about your parent's terminal diagnosis may create feelings beyond pain or sorrow that are simply too difficult to label or feel like the wrong emotion for the time. 

There is such a thing as anticipatory grief that comes with knowing you may lose someone soon or even knowing that life is about to change.

Seeking support through therapy and health venting to friends and family will help you understand how you feel and accept your emotions as fair.

One perspective that truly helped me is understanding that loss and its feelings are intrinsic to the human experience. End-of-life care is there to provide peace and comfort for your loved one, so try to view entering hospice as an experience with perhaps subtle yet overall positive. 

Perhaps you will be able to find a positive human experience in this situation as well.

1 People Recommend This Page

About the Author

Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.

LTC News Contributor Mallory Knee

Mallory Knee

Contributor since September 25th, 2020

Editor's Note

Being prepared for the costs and burdens of aging is more than just about how you will pay for quality care services. Being prepared is about family. Your family is affected by your changing health, aging, and disability.

Simple mobility problems or even light dementia can create dependency on your family - even if they are not providing the care themselves. When you own an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you have access to your choice of quality care services, including in-home care - but it doesn't stop there.

LTC Insurance safeguards your income and assets so you can maintain your lifestyle and preserve your legacy. But, perhaps as important as anything else, Long-Term Care Insurance gives your loved ones the time to be family, reducing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on them.

The time to obtain coverage is before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s, when premiums are lower, and your health is better.

Seek Professional Advice

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family. Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have the peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Available Resources on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS can put together several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities

If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.

Take a moment and read - 

Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you, or a loved one complete the claim's process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy. You can also support finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

LTC NEWS - Your Marketing and Advertising Partner

Use LTC NEWS to drive traffic to your website and help you attract people interested in your products and services. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your products and services.

There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, and strategic alliances, and more are available. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

Shared Links

LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Get Accurate Quotes

Work With A Trusted Specialist

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
man sitting at desk
Connect With a Long-Term Care Specialist

Find Affordable Insurance and the Right Coverage.

LTC News Trusted & Verified
Learn More