What is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word hospice? Death…? Fear…? Pain..? But why are people so afraid of dying? Is it because we are not ready to let go? Or have not accomplished the things in life we wanted to? There are common thoughts and anxieties that may run through someone’s mind when they hear “hospice care”. For some people it may not be normal to talk about death. It may be too taboo.
I feel very blessed to have the types of experiences in death that I’ve had at such an early age in my life and career. I have been exposed to death through Hospice Care for almost 10 years now. The biggest regret that I have heard from most is: not spending enough time with their families. So, I have often asked myself what it is about dying that brings people together. Is it because they know their loved one has only a few months to live? Is it for materialist reasons? Or is it because they genuinely care about the dying person? I like to imagine that the person preparing to go is hanging on to experience their family for the last time. I’ve seen them hanging on until then. Letting go of all the tension they may have had in life. Settling differences and understanding you cannot leave with grudges. Love is what ultimately matters.
Hospice care is not for all, it really takes a strong person to work and understand the process of dying. It can affect everyone around. It can be a very emotional and/or positive experience depending on the situation of the person passing. It may be what the person wants and is ready to “let go”, or can be very scary for the person dying simply because they are not ready. They may feel they still need to close chapters in their life. It’s important for us to help guide someone who is anxious about dying through the process. Help them, if possible, sort out those mixed emotions and to find peace and acceptance with what they’re dealing with. Sometimes simply reminding them that “things will be ok” can ease their worries.
“Don’t get attached,” they teach us. Caregivers are human, it can’t always happen that way.
Hospice as a Cargiver
As a caregiver, we must remain professional in all settings. Hospice Caregivers have a much different variable in their work. Emotion; someone is losing their life right in front of you. We are told to maintain indifference in these settings. “Don’t get attached,” they teach us. Caregivers are human, it can’t always happen that way. It’s ok to become emotional. It’s perfectly normal too. I feel that we are taught not to become attached to situations or our clients, but I personally feel that THAT is the one thing that makes caregiver a wonderful caregiver. Becoming attached to the situations and phases we go through in our careers, going through those roller coaster rides of emotions with our clients and their families and its human nature to care and love what we do.