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.
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.
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.
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 http://sbhospicecare.com/contact-us/.