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How to Support Yourself and Loved Ones in Hospice Care During COVID-19 Isolation

March 23, 2020
A man walks his dog

Having a family member on hospice care can lead to feelings of loss as routines change and as you witness your loved one decline. During times of stress and uncertainty, we are motivated to seek out social connections. Current restrictions and guidelines for social distancing, feelings of loneliness can intensify.

Ways to Support Yourself and Your Family

Keep routines and structure to your day as much as possible. Continue to perform your normal morning routines such as showering and getting dressed for the day or evening routines such as preparing for bed.

Schedule time to check in with friends by phone or video chat.

Take time to go outside, take a walk or sit on your porch or balcony. If that is not possible, can you engage with nature by watching birds outside your window?

Try to stay physically active.  Use Youtube videos to guide you in exercise routines, yoga, and/or meditation.  If you enjoy music, you might consider listening to your favorite music and move your body to the beat.

Set an alarm to remind you to get up and stretch or take a few cleansing breaths every hour. Utilize free apps to promote relaxation, such as Insight Timer which offers free guided meditations.

If you have pets, take some time to play with them.

Remember the power of laughter can be healing. Locate a funny video to watch or share memories you and your family have experienced together.

Plan time to escape by doing something you enjoy. Consider reading, listening to music or podcast, watching a show, creating art or cooking.

Write a letter to loved ones. Begin a journal to express thoughts and feelings.

Limit media exposure.  Keep informed but taking breaks from media content can be beneficial, especially for children. Try playing a game, working on a puzzle, or coloring.

Experiencing loss can help you recognize things you want in your life or things that matter. Make a list of things you would like to do and things that give your life meaning.  

Stay connected to community events and explore the world from your home through virtual formats. Check with churches and community organizations about events being held online. Many museums offer virtual tours so you can explore art, history, and culture.

Stay connected to neighbors.  Ask for help if you need supplies and are unable to get out.

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Duke HomeCare & Hospice