November is National Home Care and Hospice Month – a time to recognize the nurses, aides, therapists, and social workers who make a difference in the lives of those they serve. This work can be incredibly rewarding, but it's also important to take time for yourself to recharge. In this article, we share resources to help you do just that.
Table of Contents
What is Hospice Care
Hospice care is an important part of the healthcare continuum. It is a specialized form of care that is provided to patients and families who are dealing with a life-limiting illness. Hospice care focuses on providing comfort and support, rather than curative treatment. The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Hospice care is provided by a team of healthcare professionals who work together to meet the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient and family. Hospice care can be provided in a variety of settings, including the home, hospital, nursing home, or hospice facility.
The Benefits of Hospice Care
There are many benefits of hospice care for both patients and families. Hospice care can provide relief from symptoms and stress related to the illness. Hospice care also provides emotional support for both the patient and the family. Hospice care teams can help families understand what to expect as the illness progresses and can provide resources for coping with grief.
Hospice care can also help families plan for end-of-life care. Families can make decisions about treatments, pain management, and other aspects of care in advance. This can help relieve some of the stress that comes with making these decisions during a time of crisis.
Finally, hospice care can help patients and families make the most of the time they have left together. Hospice teams can provide support so that patients can focus on spending time with their loved ones and doing things that are important to them.
Why Connection and Storytelling Matter in Hospice Care
This month, I want to focus on two things that are important for everyone – connection and storytelling. When we feel connected to others, we feel part of something larger than ourselves and our own struggles. And when we share our stories, we give others a glimpse into our lives and what's important to us. These two things can help us feel supported, understood, and valued.
Connection can come in many forms – spending time with friends or family, talking to a therapist or counselor, joining a support group, or even just talking to a stranger. Whatever form it takes, connection is an important part of our lives. It helps us feel seen and heard, and it remind us that we're not alone in this world.
Storytelling is another way to connect with others. When we share our stories, we offer a piece of ourselves to the world. And when someone takes the time to listen to our story, it can make us feel valued and understood. Our stories can also inspire others and help them see the world in a new light.
Things to read, listen to, or watch
- Read – Why hospice care matters more now than ever
- Listen – How to Connect with Nursing Staff and Residents
- Watch – Breaking free from anxiety about telling stories, writing practices, or even hospice through EFT tapping (with Michele Santo)
Resource to Check Out
Hospice Family Story Planner – This Planner is intended to help you capture stories when working with someone who is in hospice. It is designed to facilitate storytelling and honoring the storyteller’s history, present, and beyond.
✒️ It's full of 16 minimalist & elegant printables that are crafted to help you stay organized and have clarity around your story projects, goals, and schedule, and help you cross the finish line of helping someone you love tell their story during their end-of-life journey.
This month, I encourage you to focus on connection and storytelling. Seek out opportunities to connect with others, whether it's spending time with friends or family, talking to a therapist or counselor, joining a support group, or talking to a stranger. And don't forget to share your own story – you never know who you might inspire.
If you are a part of the hospice community, understand that your work this month—and every month—is vitally important. The focus on quality of life that hospice provides can make an immeasurable difference for patients and their families during one of the most difficult times imaginable. You are making a difference—keep up the good work!