Why Including Younger Grandchildren in End-of-Life Care Is Important

Why Including Younger Grandchildren in End-of-Life Care Is Important

Watching a parent or other older family member go through the process of dying can be trying and deeply emotional for adults. Oftentimes, families forget or try to avoid speaking with the younger grandchildren in an attempt to protect them emotionally.

Learn why hospice experts strongly recommend involving younger grandchildren and including them in the end-of-life hospice care process. This helps prevent these little ones from feeling unduly sad or frightened when they realize that their beloved grandmother or grandfather is no longer with them.

Keep the Conversation Appropriate for Age & Begin Early

Oftentimes, the adults are so stressed worrying about their dying family member’s concerns and care that they forget about involving their young kids in the conversation. This can backfire, as even younger children are likely to pick up when something is wrong.

When they finally do realize the truth that their grandparent is ill without hope of getting better or even already dead, these kids can suffer a tremendous amount of anxiety, sadness, and other strong emotions. Some will even feel guilty long into their teen and young adult years.

Most hospice specialists strongly urge family members to begin talking to the younger family members as early as possible, especially if there are noticeable clues that something is wrong. This strategy helps prepare kids for the natural process of death and provides a healthy outlet for grief later.

Allow Younger Grandchildren to Spend Time with the Grandparent

Most younger children enjoy spending time with their grandparents. If a grandparent is planning or has already moved to hospice care, this may be the best time to allow the younger kids to spend time with their loved ones. These visits don’t have to be long, and kids can also stay connected through phone calls, video chats, and social media if in-person visits are not appropriate or practical.

The senior family member should also be asked for their wishes so that everyone involved can plan to make the visit as smooth and comforting as it can be.

Keep Details Simple & Allow Questions with Time for Answers

Children will have questions as their loved one in hospice care moves through the expected changes. Allow them to ask questions and give short and comforting answers that are truthful but not too detailed.

Don’t be afraid to include caregivers who are able to explain complex care procedures on a level kids will understand. Learn more by contacting St. Bernadine Hospice Care in Irvine at