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How to Take Care of Yourself While Looking After Your Loved Ones in Hospice

Elderly woman and her daughter enjoying themselves

How to Take Care of Yourself While Looking After Your Loved Ones in Hospice

February 1, 2023

A new year signifies a new start and a new beginning. However, you may not be eager to celebrate the new year when you are caring for someone on hospice because it might not feel like a new beginning. As you face the ever-changing, demanding, emotional and sometimes frustrating duty of caring for a loved one on hospice, a “Happy New Year” may seem daunting. It is possible to be in a state of shock or disbelief at the impending death of a loved one or deep grief from enduring a loss.

Learn how you can navigate a new year while still caring for a loved one.

Keep setting goals

It is normal to let go of your most important goals when you are a caregiver. However, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon those goals entirely.  Prioritize self-care, including eating right, staying hydrated, exercising, even if it is just a short walk around the block, to help maintain your own mental health during this time. You can set aside a time each week or month to pursue a hobby such as baking, gardening, art, or just catching up with friends.

Look for a support system

Accepting help is a goal for caregivers but may not always come naturally. Even if you only have a few hours per week to spare, let someone close, a hospice aide or a volunteer take care of your loved one’s needs. To help you deal with your grief, get in touch with someone you trust. It’s not always easy to ask for help but having a support system is incredibly beneficial to not only you, but your loved one as well. Remember, you have to put on your oxygen mask first to be able to help others.

Continue to interact

Talk to your loved one, share happy memories and positive updates. Keep a record of special moments and have meaningful conversations with your loved one if they are still communicating. If possible, make amends. Invite your family members to show their appreciation and love. Take this time to share anything and everything you want your loved one to know while they are still here.

Reach out to your hospice team

Talk to your hospice team if you are more than a few weeks or months into hospice. They will be able to help you determine if there are any changes that need to be made in the care plan and goals for your loved one. You may still be able to do things for yourself, such as attending events or participating in hobbies. 


It is never a good idea to deny the reality of your loved one’s terminal illness. While grief is natural, there are times when you may be unable to accept the reality of your loved one’s terminal illness. However, if you linger on this issue too long, it may cause anger and paralyze or prevent you from seeking help. It is possible to help your loved one die peacefully as the illness progresses.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed when your loved one is nearing the end of their life. Hospice care can ensure that your loved one has the best quality life possible, no matter how many days are left. Hospice care can provide comfort care, caregiver education, spiritual and emotional support, and medical assistance for your journey.

Charter Healthcare has had the privilege of caring for patients and families for more than a decade and earned a reputation as a premier provider of hospice care. Contact us today to learn more about our services and get help.