Creating a Grieving Care Plan
Part of hospice care must include a grieving plan for the patient. When death is imminent, grief is inevitable, therefore, grief plans help ease the transition through the emotions associated with dying. The most important part of a grieving plan is family involvement; those who care for the dying patient must be included in this final transition for everyone’s comfort. The Vancouver Home Health Care Agency is happy to assist with final life plans.
Assess the Signs
Grieving signs must be assessed before treatment can begin. Signs of grieving include, but are not limited to,
- Change in Life Outlook
- Withdrawal from People or Activities
- Inability to Concentrate
- Change in Eating Habits
- Denial of Losses
Begin Facilitation of Grieving Process Measures
The patient will need help accepting losses so the grief process and plan can begin. Looking for factors that hinder the process is the first step in the facilitation process. Begin by discussing the grieving process and help the patient accept the steps of grieving. The patient will then need time to move through the five stages of grieving, understanding that not all phases are expressed by all individuals. Some phases may recur or overlap; while still some phases could take longer than others.
It is important to provide a caring atmosphere, by not only the nurses, but also by the family and friends. Concern must be nonjudgmental and empathic must be expressed to give the patient the freedom to honestly express feelings. Promoting trust is as important as providing medical care; answer questions with honesty and provide all requested information to the patient.
Encourage any verbal expressions of emotion, from sadness to anger, regarding the condition. Recognize any anger displacement and help the patient recognize the real reason for anger. Find out how the patient typically expresses emotion and help him or her use that medium. Perhaps they write, or paint, or talk – find the medium and encourage its use. Talk about past losses and find out how the patient dealt with loss in life – this will help find the right tools to deal with grief.
As stated previously, family involvement is essential at this juncture. Help family find assistance with grief and understand that the family may be in different stages of grieving. This may include spiritual assistance for both the family and the patient. Therapy services, counseling services, and clergy are equally important in grieving care plans. Bringing the family into the process creates a support system, which is essential to the patient’s spiritual and emotional well-being.
The professionals at Vancouver Home Health Care Agency are happy to answer any questions regarding grief care plans.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.