It is important to recognize that hospice care’s purpose is not only to provide comfort to a patient but also to provide resources and support for the family as well. Having a loved one opt into hospice care can be a difficult time for a family, who may be unsure of their role going forward.
However, the family has several important roles that it can fill, depending on the needs and abilities of the family as well as the patient.
It is not a necessity for family members to fill the role of primary caretaker within a hospice care plan. However, families often will assume this role so they can remain active in their loved one’s life.
For at-home care, it is absolutely possible for a family member to become the primary caregiver, and they will be supported and provided with resources by the hospice team. It is important for family caregivers to remain in-tune with their own well-being too and turn to the hospice team for support when needed.
Having familial support is a key part of making hospice care as beneficial as possible for the patient. Part of the comfort provided by hospice care is emotional and spiritual support, which can help families to come to terms with the situation and find closure with their loved ones in their final months.