Are COVID-19 Vaccines Recommended for Hospice Patients?

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Coping with the death of a family member

Allow Yourself to Grieve

One of the most important things you can do when faced with the death of a loved one is to allow yourself to grieve. You may experience shock, anger, sadness, and can even feel lost or helpless. This is normal, but it is necessary to express these feelings because keeping them in will only lessen your ability to cope.

Talk to your family and friends about what you are feeling. It is likely that they are feeling the same emotions as you and talking about it will help you cope and find closure. Talking about your loved one after their death is also a great way to honor their memory and help you appreciate the moments you had with them. There are other ways to honor them as well, including donating to their favorite charities, planting a tree in their memory, or spending time with family to share stories and reminisce with photos of fun times. These kinds of activities, while they may seem difficult, will help you find closure and acceptance.

When you experience the death of a family member, you will be filled with many emotions and may also be required to do things like make funeral arrangements or work with their estate planners to carry out their final will. During this time, it is imperative that you take care of yourself and not neglect your needs – eat well, get plenty of rest, and try to continue doing the things that bring you joy. Whether this is exercise or spending time with friends, this will help you cope and keep a level head while dealing with other responsibilities.


We can all take one huge positive from the past year. It’s that scientists have been able to create several vaccines which are very effective against COVID-19. On top of that, the vaccine rollout is now in full swing.

Americans have been getting the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Johnson & Johnson has also now secured emergency use authorization (EUA) for its own vaccine. 

Our experience means that we understand the concerns of those receiving hospice and palliative care. We know you may be struggling with the decision about getting vaccinated. Let us help you through the issues to consider.

Official Guidance

Although the virus is new and the vaccines in their infancy,  this is what we do know. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is clear that age raises the threat of serious illness from COVID-19. 

Underlying medical conditions will also add to this risk. The CDC advocates giving vaccines to this vulnerable group of people. This is as long as they haven’t in the past had a severe allergic reaction to any of a vaccine’s ingredients.

Weakened Immune Systems

It is still early days. Those with compromised immune systems may experience reduced immune responses to the vaccines. What isn’t known yet is the degree to which this may happen, if at all. 

There are no hard facts at present about the safety of vaccines for people with autoimmune conditions.

Talking Things Through

The safety and efficacy of vaccines are not the only things to weigh up. If you are a carer or hospice patient, there are other issues to consider. These include:

Different people will have their own expectations to think about. We’ve seen many advantages related to vaccinations. 

What often works best is to talk the options through. Discussions should involve the patient, their loved ones and their physicians or healthcare provider, if possible. We can combine this with a little space for contemplation.

We’re Here to Support You

We’ll help you on your journey to ensure you meet your own specific care needs. This includes acting as a resource for the most up to date information about vaccines. We’re always there to listen to concerns you may have. We’re with you every step of the way.

Official Member of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association & the Ventura County Homecare Association, INC

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Westlake Village Hospice, Inc provides home hospice care for patients in Los Angeles, Arleta, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Burbank, Chatsworth, Encino, Glendale, Glenoaks, Granada HIlls, Hansen Hills, Hidden Hills, La Crescenta, Lake Balboa, Lake View Terrace, MIssion Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Reseda, San Fernando, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Sun Valley, Sunland, Studio City, Sylmar, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Toluca Lake, Toluca Terrace, Tujunga, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Vergudo, West Hills, West Toluca Lake, Winnetka, Woodland Hills, Ventura County, Antelope Valley, and the San Fernando Valley.
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