Hospice Foundation of America

Caregiver

Tips

The death of a loved one can have a wide-ranging impact. Here are some suggestions on how to cope, understand, and ultimately move past your grief.

Tip of


    the Week

There are things we can do to help ourselves as we experience grief.

Realize that you do not have to struggle alone. We all can share our grief with family and friends. Seek help from clergy or counselors. Hospices and funeral homes may be able to suggest mutual support groups. And librarians and bookstores can recommend books that can assist as you grieve.

Hospice Foundation of America's Tips  

  1. Be patient with yourself. You are not only confronting the agony of your piercing loss but the unknown demands of tasks never before attempted. Don’t rush. When you are tightly wound, you cannot think clearly. Your mind and body and soul need time to heal. At the eye of the hurricane is a place of calm. Grief is patient; it will wait for you.
  2. There will be slips and spills before you may feel that you are on more solid footing. Take comfort in the small increments of improvement rather than expect sudden jumps and starts.
  3. “Time heals,” many people say. But the medicine of time taken by itself is not automatic. It depends upon what you do with your time. Are you using the time to relax physically and emotionally? Are you using the time to seek friends and family for company, guidance, and support? Are you using the time to attend to your own spiritual questions, doubts, and needs? Are you using the time to meticulously ponder the direction for your future? You must help time to do its healing.
  4. Not only is there great wisdom in living one day at a time, but also calmly tackling one thing at a time. Prioritize your needs. What must be attended to immediately? What can be delayed? Before major decisions, you might seek professional advice on business, legal, and even psychological matters.
  5. Don’t rush into irreversible decisions like selling your home, changing your job, or moving into a new community. At least in the beginning, the more familiar the routine and environment, the more rapid may be your reorientation to your changed life.
  6. Be specific about your needs when asking for help. The importance of family and friends during this time of upheaval cannot be overstated. Wouldn’t you want those close to you to ask for help from you if they needed it? Don’t deny them this opportunity. But they are not mind readers.
  7. Learn from the ways you have handled loss before. Draw on your resources-the coping skills you already have, your own sources of support, and your spiritual strengths. And from earlier experiences, you can learn the mistakes you need to avoid.
  8. Accept the fact that you are grieving. Take time to grieve, to realize that life will be different, and sometimes difficult. Be gentle with yourself.
  9. Realize that you do not have to struggle alone. We all can share our grief with family and friends. Seek help from clergy or counselors. Hospices and funeral homes may be able to suggest mutual support groups. And librarians and bookstores can recommend books that can assist as you grieve.
  10. The death of a loved one can have a wide-ranging impact. Here are some suggestions on how to cope, understand, and ultimately move past your grief.

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Q: My father has cancer and his physician has recommended hospice. My family has very little financial resources. How is hospice care paid for?

A: Hospice care is a covered benefit under Medicare for patients with a prognosis of 6 months or less. Medicaid covers hospice services in most states. Many private health insurance policies and HMO's offer hospice coverage and benefits. Hospice services are also covered under TRICARE. Frequently, hospice expenses are less than conventional care expenses during the last six months of life.

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