What is Your Family's Role in Hospice Care?

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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.


As a family, deciding whether to seek hospice care or not for our loved ones can be a tough choice. We are constantly struggling to choose between wanting to be as hands-on as possible or leaving them in the hands of the professionals.

The Family can Provide Mental Nurturing and Emotional Support

If you choose to go for the latter, we understand that it is a bit unsettling to think that you might not be as directly involved as you hoped to be in taking care of the patient. If this concern is what holds you back from seeking professional help, then let us be the ones to assure you that going for hospice care doesn’t invalidate your role in the patient’s end-of-life care. Quite the contrary actually, because more than the physical and medical needs that hospice care experts give, the patient also has other needs that only their family can provide – mental nurturing, emotional support, and spiritual guidance are just some of the ways that you can take part in their journey. The patient will need all the love, reassurance, compassion, and encouragement they can get, and no one can provide this better than their family.

The Family is a Primary Caregiver Too

Leaving it up to the hospice care professionals doesn’t mean that you are giving up your role as the patient’s primary caregiver. Being the ones who know the patient well, you know about their condition and what their needs are thus making you a vital part in planning the necessary goals and treatments.Opting for hospice care only means that you want to provide the best possible attention that the patient can get, and make sure that their end-of-life care is as comfortable as possible. Deciding to go for hospice care can also free you up from all the worries and stress that medical care entails, leaving you with as many opportunities as possible to celebrate and cherish every moment you spend with them.There is no easy way to deal with this matter, and it takes a lot of courage to take a step towards acceptance and seeking hospice help. As a family, the best thing you can do is to show up as a united front and to boost the morale of the patient. For it is through you, their beloved family, that they will be able to gain their strength.

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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