Patient and Caregiver Stress Relievers

When a family member or a dear friend is diagnosed with a terminal illness and hospice has been recommended, stress levels tend to rise. Before you allow stress to take over the time you and your loved ones have left together, remember staying positive is not only important for the patient, but can be equally as important for those involved in providing care to a loved one.

Here are some ways to keep things upbeat and positive at a time when finding the positive in life can be difficult. Trust me, leaving the stress at the door is best for everyone and can help in the healing processes for loved ones in the future.

  • Art therapy – Art therapy can help individuals explore their emotions through the use of various art mediums. It provides an outlet for creative, non-verbal expression of their feelings.
  • Aromatherapy can provide many benefits to patients and family members; some essential oils may help alleviate nausea or fatigue, while others may help with anxiety and depression.
  • Guided imagery, meditation, or other relaxation techniques can help patients and family members reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Music therapy – Music can be soothing, relaxing, nurturing, energizing, and comforting. It may provide the following benefits:
    • Promote relaxation
    • Strengthen family bonds
    • Trigger memories or initiate reflection on one’s life
    • Improve alertness
    • Reduce one’s perception of pain or nausea
    • Create joyful experiences

My mother’s hospice nurses advised that as death nears, it is normal for your loved one to experience anxiety. It is helpful to reassure your loved one that you are there in support, and that although you will miss him or her, it is ok to let go. Receiving permission from loved ones can relieve distress for the patient.

Hospice Services at Methodist ElderCare has a fantastic hospice team available to help you and your loved ones with questions on alleviating stress and anxiety when you are not sure how to move forward. Kenya George at Hospice Services at Methodist ElderCare can be reached at 614-705-0892 or email her at kgeorge@mecsrc.com. She will be able to assist you with any questions or concerns you have.


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