O yes, I believe in the healing powers of a good support group. Support Groups’ purposes are multifold. They serve to educate, they provide counseling, and they offer an opportunity to meet other people who may become new friends. Support groups allow you to vent, cry, rant, ask questions or just listen to others. The support of the group relieves the burden of friends, coworkers and acquaintances to listen to you and your pain. Your friends and associates may not be qualified for your questions or emotionally strong themselves. You never really know what another person is struggling with emotionally or spiritually. Remember we discussed the stages of grief? Some people never exhibit their grief when they are suffering; you would never know. They may be in their own internal battle and here you come with your PDE (public display of emotion)
Hospice Companies are very good and thorough in the support they provide. Once a patient is admitted to the care of the hospice company, the family is instantly eligible to receive counsel, support, advice and spiritual care from the hospice nurse, the chaplain and the social worker. Hospice companies have literature available to explain the effect certain medications, treatments, diseases or conditions have on the body, the mind and the spirit. You will understand why your dad has an anxiety attack every time…or you will kind of expect extreme fatigue or a coma like sleep after….
Hospice provides care to the family and care givers during the illness and for one year after the death of the patient. They provide support groups, gatherings, outings, literature and visits to the home. The chaplain works with you with respect to your spiritual faith or denomination and is not a replacement to your own pastor but an additional resource.
Hospice social workers and chaplains understand the particular and specific needs of the spouse, the parent, the child and the best friend. Yes, the whole family grieves as they witness their beloved losing a battle with cancer; the mother has her grief and the wife has hers. A good social worker or chaplain will form one support group for people who have a child in hospice and another group for the spouses of hospice patients. Significant others, same gender partners and unmarried partners will be included in the spouses’ group because they share a common grief.
Support groups allow the wife to express herself with other wives or husbands, the mother expresses herself with other parents and the children have their say with other people whose mom or dad is a hospice patient. This avoids the conflict of the mother, wife and daughter in the same group. Remember, anger is a part of grieving and anger just may rear its ugly head in a support group.
Social workers, trained clergy and chaplains know far too well the emotional impact a death has on one during the first 12 months afterward. While everyone grieves differently, some will feel “We all must die and life goes on” while others may be completely devastated. Either way the support of the hospice company is available for the survivors.
Next time we meet we’ll discuss The Hospice Controversy
I pray that this is helpful to somebody. Thank you for visiting. 🙂