When your loved one enters hospice, you will remain their primary caregiver. But you will now have an entire team of caring professionals on your side, coordinating with you to ensure your loved one is comfortable during the end-of-life stage.
Communicating With Your Hospice Team
In fact, you become a critical part of the hospice team. Being able to communicate well with the rest of the team helps you ensure that your loved one is receiving the best possible care. Here are some tips for smooth and effective communication.
- Use communication methods that work for your needs. You will have multiple methods for reaching your hospice team, including phone, email, texting, and in-person meetings. Sometimes, a quick option like picking up the phone is best. Other times, it may be more effective to sit down in person with members of your hospice team to tell them what is going on.
- Do not hesitate to report changes. If you notice a change in your loved one’s condition, you should report it right away. There may be times where you think it is something insignificant. But the hospice team is there to help, and sometimes small changes are more meaningful than you might think. Tell the team, and leave it up to them to determine if the changes require medical attention.
- Describe what you are witnessing, not supposition. As a caregiver, you probably spend a lot of time trying to figure out what is going on medically with your loved one. While it is okay to report your theories, you should stick mostly to telling the hospice team what symptoms you are actually observing.
- Ask questions. You likely will have numerous questions throughout the duration of hospice. The hospice team is there to support you and your entire family along with your loved one. So, ask your questions. The members of your team will patiently answer them.
- Be assertive and advocate for your loved one. You know your loved one better than anyone. Depending on your loved one’s condition, they may or may not be able to communicate their own needs. In some cases, you may be the only person who can convey to the hospice team exactly what your loved one’s wishes are. For that reason, it is important to advocate assertively. Doing so will help the team understand what they need to do in order to respect your loved one’s agency.
- Share your thoughts and emotions. As we mentioned before, the focus of hospice is on providing holistic care to your loved one as well as their family, which includes you. You do not need to be on your own with the challenging thoughts and emotions you may be facing at this time. We have counselors and chaplains who can listen to you as you share what you are struggling with, and who will offer you guidance to help you cope with emotions like grief and overwhelm.
Work With a Dedicated Hospice Team in Burbank
Journey Palliative and Hospice is devoted to providing your loved one with compassionate, respectful care. Our team will work hard to communicate clearly with you at all times to make sure your loved one and family’s needs are being met. To learn how we can help, please call (818) 748-3427.