Caring for an aging parent can be challenging; however, it can become even more of a struggle when dealing with a terminal or incurable illness. Though it may be a difficult and sensitive conversation, there may come a time when you need to talk to your mom or dad about hospice care.
Studies show that denial is a common coping mechanism for those diagnosed with a terminal or incurable illness. Most terminally ill patients refuse to face the knowledge that their health is deteriorating, which is why it is important for you to talk to your parents and to help them make these decisions.
Devinity Hospice, a reliable source of hospice palliative care in Humble, Texas, offers the following tips to make the hospice conversation easier for everyone in your family.
Tip #1: Have a plan in place.
Before you bring up hospice care, make sure that you have a plan in place. Hospice care is a delicate and sensitive subject, so don’t just bring it up out of nowhere. Before you talk to your ill parent, make sure to discuss it with any siblings, your parent’s spouse, and other people closely involved in their life. Also, make sure to do your research in advance – look for hospice options in your area and equip yourself with as much knowledge about hospice as possible so that you can answer any of your parent’s questions.
Tip #2: Choose the right time.
If your parent is going through a particularly difficult moment, it may not be the best time to bring up hospice care. Instead, try to choose a time when everyone is conscious and calm. A peaceful, calm environment may help everyone have this difficult conversation.
Tip #3: Listen.
Initially, your parent may not be receptive to the idea of hospice care, so be prepared for some resistance. During your conversation, make sure to listen to them. As much as possible, listen without interrupting or trying to change their mind. Let them talk about their frustrations, fears, and concerns. Stay calm and supportive.
Tip #4: Offer your reassurance.
Your parent may feel like you are giving up on them. They might be scared that you won’t be there for them during their time of sickness. They might be afraid that it’s too expensive. During the conversation, offer reassurances and let them know that you love and support them. Let them know that by arranging for hospice care, you simply want them to have the best care and support possible. Reassure them that hospice isn’t expensive and is in fact, covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances. Also, explain to them that with hospice care, you can focus more on spending quality time with them, instead of focusing on their illness.
Tip #5: Be patient.
Give your parent some time to think about it. Don’t push them to make a decision right away. Be patient. Over time, your parent may come to see that hospice care is the best option for them.