Are you starting to notice your loved ones' health is declining? This might mean it's time to think about hospice care. Today we share some strategies to prepare for this next transition.
Speak with a doctor
The first step is to speak with your loved ones' doctor about what options are available for your loved one during this next chapter along the journey. Your doctor will be able to recommend places, resources, and options for your loved one. It is important to include your loved one in this conversation. While they may no longer be able to fully understand the situation, it is important to treat them as a person, regardless of their dementia.
Make an Educated Decision
After speaking with your doctor, inquire about the options available and find the best one that will meet the needs of your loved one. Speak with relatives and friends and make an informed decision together. Refer back to your loved one's care plan on their previous wishes once they reached this stage.
Find the Best Spot
A great way to get to know about hospice options are to visit the facilities and setup an appointment or tour. The best way to know whether or not your loved one will be comfortable is to visit and see the place for yourself. Are there things that they can offer your loved one that other places can't? Are there hospice care facilities that are specific to dementia or are well versed in dementia care? Is the care facility close to your family's homes or workspaces? Think about the various aspects involved that will be best option for everyone.
Inform all Family Members
Once you have decided on the best option for your loved one, it is important to inform all family members in the case that your loved one does transition into hospice care soon. Notify your family if they would like to visit or be there to support you during this difficult time.
Pack the Essentials
It is important to start packing the essentials for your loved one. This way you can be prepared before they have to move, making the process much easier for everyone. Are there favourite sentimental items that would be important for them to have with them during end-of-life care?
Create Tokens of Love
If hospice care looks to be in the near future, create tokens of love for your relative with dementia. What are some of the most important things to them and to you that you think will bring them a sense of comfort? Is it important to bring in their favourite music, pictures, or any other small items? Creating these tokens of love will help you to emotionally prepare for the next stage and reflect on your lives together and favourite moments.
Prior to the transition into hospice care, seek ways to gain support from others. This stage can be difficult and emotional, and it is important to have a support plan in place to help you through this time. The hospice you have chosen might be able to provide you with additional resources to help in the future.
Communication is essential when you think about the transition into hospice care. Communicate with your relative with dementia, your loved ones, and the care team and prepare yourselves for your loved one to enter hospice care. It is important to continue this communication throughout this next stage so that everyone is informed as emotions might run high.
Take the time to emotionally prepare yourself for this next chapter. It is important to practice self-care and while everyone grieves differently, it is essential that you take care of yourself. While you cannot prepare yourself for everything, take the time to reflect on yourself and the situation and how you can take the best care of yourself during this chapter and afterwards.