The holidays can be unfamiliar terrain when a loved one is terminally ill. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your time together. Whether your loved one is at home or in an assisted living center, there are endless ways to make this season special.
In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing our five tips for bringing the family together and celebrating the holidays with a loved one in hospice.
1. Incorporate the comforts of home.
Many assisted living centers will help residents celebrate the holidays. Often times, they’ll offer games and festive meals to help residents feel connected. Help your loved one decorate their room with personal touches that remind them of home. This will provide a sense of nostalgia and make their space that much more comfortable.
Some of the best home traditions involve food and storytelling. If your loved one is living at home, ask if they have a favorite Christmas dish they’d like prepared. This creates a great opportunity to catch up over a delicious holiday treat.
2. Avoid overstimulation.
Keep in mind, because your loved one is terminally ill, they may not be able to keep up with the pace of regular celebrations. Check in with them regularly to ensure they’re not feeling overwhelmed. This break in routine can sometimes be difficult for patients suffering from a terminal illness, including Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
3. Help them honor their favorite traditions.
Your family may be experiencing new circumstances, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo your favorite traditions. Ask your loved one how they’d like to incorporate their favorite songs, movies and rituals. From a quiet service to reading a story bedside, focus on ways to make the holiday special for them.
4. Prepare for guests, keeping hospice staff in mind.
No matter where you’re spending the holidays, it’s important that decorations and activities aren’t interfering with the space, equipment or treatment, ensuring there’s enough room to transport without a fall risk.
Keep close communication with the hospice staff. They’ll be able to help accommodate for any visiting guests and make recommendations on how to care for your loved one during the celebrations.
5. Share a truly magical moment.
If your family member is feeling anxious or overwhelmed with emotion, take time to listen to their needs. Don’t try to change the subject, but let them share their concerns and encourage them. Help them shift their focus to making this a memorable time you can all share together.
By using these five tips, you can connect with your loved one on a deeper level and create a moment you’ll remember for years to come. This holiday, rest knowing that you’re not alone. Our team at McCortney Hospice is here to surround you and your family with comfort and warmth.
We proudly serve the Canadian, Grady, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McLain, Garvin, Murray, Carter, Lincoln, Pottawatomie, Pontotoc, Johnston, Seminole, Hughes, Coal, Pittsburg and Atoka counties – and will always provide the best in care when and where you need it most.
We hope you’ll make this holiday a time to share your favorite stories and honor your loved one with your presence and engagement.
To learn more about hospice services and how we can make their holiday as comfortable as possible, give us a call at (405) 360-2400 in the Norman area and (580) 332-6900 in the Ada area.