Explaining to children that their parents are in hospice can be a difficult and emotional conversation. So it is completely normal if you want to postpone the conversation as long as possible, you want to protect kids from emotional trauma and stress. But how can you avoid it when a family member or close friend is in hospice and their approaching death cannot be avoided?
However, some ways will help you explain the issue to the children, without developing fear and misunderstanding about death.
On the MyLife Choice website, there is more information prepared by a qualified specialist, about ways of dealing with a sick family member and more.
Palliative care is a type of care given to people who are very sick and may not get better. The goal of palliative care is to help them feel as comfortable and happy as possible. This care includes things like managing pain, providing emotional support, and helping with practical needs like getting dressed and eating.
Here are some tips on how to explain palliative care to children:
• Start with familiar examples: You can start by talking about times when the child or someone they know was sick and needed help from a doctor or nurse. You can explain that sometimes when people are very sick, they need special care to help them feel better.
• Keep it simple: Use simple language and avoid using medical jargon that might be confusing for children. Use examples and analogies that they can understand, such as comparing palliative care to a soft blanket that makes them feel warm and comfortable.
• Focus on the benefits: Emphasize how palliative care can help the person feel better and more comfortable. Explain that it’s a way to make sure that they’re not in pain and that they’re happy and peaceful.
• Answer questions honestly: Children may have many questions about palliative care, and it’s important to answer them honestly and in a way that they can understand. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s okay to say so and offer to find out more information.
• Encourage children to express their feelings: Children may have a range of emotions when they learn about palliative care, including sadness, fear, and confusion. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and reassure them that it’s normal to feel this way.
• Offer support: Children may need extra support during this time. Let them know that they can talk to you or other trusted adults about their feelings and concerns. It may also be helpful to offer them the opportunity to talk to a therapist or counsellor.
Overall, it’s important to approach the conversation about palliative care with empathy, compassion, and honesty. By doing so, you can help children understand the importance of palliative care and feel more at ease with the idea of someone they care about receiving it.