Depression and anxiety are common problems for both patients and caregivers. Terminal illness is an emotional stress for everyone involved in the patient’s life. Anticipating the loss of life is not the only stress associated with terminal illness.
Patients and families also have to cope with the changes in relationships, changes in roles, changes in finances and changes in lifestyle.
It is perfectly normal for patients and families to feel periods of frustration or anger. These feelings are not bad or wrong, they just happen. When these feelings happen, try to understand why it is that you are feeling angry or frustrated. Often times, it is about something over which we have no control.
Sometimes, the best medicine for feelings is no medicine at all. One of the most important gifts we can give to each other is support. Try being as open and honest as you possibly can and share your feelings with another person. Just expressing yourself can help you feel better and to have a better understanding of the things you are feeling. Let the friends and loved ones who offer to help know that they can always provide a listening ear.
Emotional needs are often the most difficult to express to someone. Hospice staff members are educated in ways
to offer support with emotional difficulties. Hospice nurses, social workers and volunteers are always available
to offer emotional support to patients and families.
Hospice Social Workers are trained in ways to cope with the emotional problems that hospice patients and their families have. They can help with counseling themselves or refer patients and families to other community services for assistance. Social Workers can help patients and families with Advance Directives like Living Wills and Medical Power of Attorney issues. They are also helpful in sorting out financial matters such as discerning private insurance questions and or applying for Medicaid assistance.
Never be afraid to express you feelings or concerns to your hospice staff, their mission is to support you physically, emotionally and spiritually!