Navigating holiday season for hospice patients image

Navigating holiday season for hospice patients

Holidays are difficult for people who have a terminally ill loved one. On the surface, it might seem strange to celebrate, but in fact it is actually the most important time to celebrate.

Anything that can make the process feel normal for the patient is important. Spending time with friends and family is a priority and many hospice facilities will gladly help their patients to celebrate the holidays. Decorations, festive meals, games and spending time together can all make you feel more connected to the ones you love, even if you’re away from home.

Holiday season can also be an opportunity for family members, friends and caregivers to spend time with the terminally ill loved one. It is time when you get to reminisce about previous holidays, hear good stories, chat about what’s new in everyone’s life and also to say goodbye. The important thing is that you treat your ill loved one normally. This will make you and them feel more comfortable.

Throughout the year, there can be many causes for celebrations: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays etc. Hospice patients may not always be able to keep up with such a busy schedule, but their family and friends can always find a way to include them if they want to.

The crucial part is that you keep them as a normal part of their life and even though there might be moments of tears, intense emotions, there will also be moments where you laugh, share old memories and make new ones.

Helpful tips during holiday season

To some, the holidays will bring joy, while others might expreicence a bit more stress and sadness. Here are some tips that might help  to better cope with these:

  • Acknowledge that these times will be different than before and that they will be emotional.
  • Make sure to remember the good and happy memories and look through old photo albums.
  • Listen to your loved ones.
  • Decide on which traditions will you keep this year and which ones will you set aside. Make sure that you include your terminally loved one in some of them.
  • Get help from friends, family and even hospice staff.


End of life is something that everyrone deals with in their own way. But, we all spend much time together during the holidays because they are an important part of our lives. Those of you that would like to spend time with their terminally ill loved ones, should definitely do so, because celebrations are still the most important part of life.

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