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How Hudson Valley and Catskill Families Can Have the Hospice Care Talk

Death is a universal experience most are uncomfortable discussing. In our decades providing Hudson Valley families with dignified hospice care, Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc. has seen that one of the most difficult aspects of end-of-life is beginning the conversation about care. Unfortunately, this important talk often doesn’t occur until a patient has already entered the end-stage of life. By understanding the importance of such discussions and how they determine quality of life during the final months, families can become comfortable with the topic of end-of-life care and make plans sooner rather than later.

Starting the conversation can be daunting, but once begun, it can help patients and families gain a sense of empowerment and control during an otherwise uncertain time. It is best to have your closest loved ones present for the talk, so counterintuitively, holidays and family occasions are an excellent time to begin, since everyone has already gathered. Having this discussion is much easier in the comfort of your family versus amid stress later.

Beyond discussing when to enter end-of-life care, an essential part of the conversation should focus on where one would prefer to spend the final months. Some patients prefer familiar surroundings like their family home while others might choose the additional care available through a nursing home or hospice care facility like our Kaplan Family Hospice Residence.

This also opens the door for talks about the type of care desired, whether the choice is hospice care or palliative care. While palliative care focuses on symptom management and comfort, true hospice care expands on this by providing patient and family alike with resources for emotional and spiritual support, opportunities for continued family activities, and even bereavement and grief counseling after a loved one’s passing. You can learn more about Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc.’s end-of-life care by clicking here.

Although, end-of-life conversations tend to revolve around healthcare options and arrangements, this is also the time to discuss your estate. Considerations include determining the need for power of attorney, updating wills and testaments, and estate planning. If you have a pet, plans will need to be made to ensure they continue being cared for. Funeral planning and burial/cremation wishes also need to be addressed. Being clear and upfront in these talks will allow your final wishes to be carried out while avoiding confusion among family members. Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc. can even assist in making funeral/service arrangements.

We understand that navigating the requirements for Hospice can be overwhelming. Equally as important as talking to your loved ones about Hospice we encourage you to talk to us directly to understand if your loved one is Hospice appropriate. We are here to help you understand when Hospice becomes an option.

Talking about death is never easy but being proactive in having these conversations allows patients to experience a higher quality of life and dignified care during the final months. You’re not alone in this process, either. Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc. specializes in end-of-life care but remains with a family throughout the grieving process. To learn about hospice care, please call us today at 845-561-6111.