Written By: Mikee Pasaporte
Love begins at home and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action. -Mother Theresa
People who serve in Hospice Care have learned the best tricks of the trade. You can ask any of our doctors, nurses, therapists and volunteers about their best practices. They will give you accurate hands-on- experience answers. They are driven by passionately helping other people. People who they used to call strangers, now have a soft-spot in their hearts. They are now driven to help because of having that special connection between caregiver and care recipient. Some may even call it an act of love, in a way.
But how do these people handle hospice care when it hits home? You tend to be confident in the way that you care for strangers, but when a life-limiting illness creeps inside the door of your home…it’s a new story.
Family members have a habit of being your greatest skeptics. You know that you were trained for this, yet they doubt you, being their son/daughter/ wife/ husband/ etc.. A great way would be to involve other people in the hospice team, to assist in giving instructions and maybe leading a family conference to make sure that everybody is on the same page.
Learn to listen (professionally). Listen to your loved one as though they weren’t related. Try to push aside thoughts on how they never really listened to you while growing up, or thoughts on how they weren’t as great in taking care of you when you had the stomach flu in 8thgrade. Listen to their silent calls for help. You know their personal cues and now would be the best time to use those cues to help them. Being genuinely happy to help makes a difference and lessens the thoughts of them being an encumbrance.
Take time to breathe. You need to accept the fact that you are not a superhero with unlimited energy levels. It’s OK to feel drained (physically/emotionally) for a while. Asking for help is not a weakness. Remember, you have to take care of yourself too.