When someone is in hospice care, they usually don’t have much time left. Although someone could still have years to go after they go into hospice, the outcome is still the same. During this time, hospice patients need the most comfort that they can get to have a good quality of life for their remaining days.
If a friend or a family member is in a hospice facility or is already being taken care of by a reliable home health aide, here are some items that may bring them comfort and happiness until they reach the end.
1. Something warm
Hospice facilities can get quite cold sometimes, and the blankets that the facility provides may not be enough to keep your loved one as warm as they’d like. That said, a thick blanket, some gloves, or a warm scarf can make for both a comforting and practical gift. If you want, you can even go the extra mile and have their name embroidered on the item to make it more sentimental.
2. Rechargeable heated pads
Heat pads can provide additional heat to your loved one and mimic the feeling of physical touch. With a rechargeable heat pad, your loved one can use it to soothe their pain or simply hold it close for additional comfort. They are also great for warming up cold hands, which is a common problem in hospice facilities.
3. Photo album
When a person is nearing the end of their life, it can bring them great comfort and happiness to look back at their best memories in life. Contact your loved one’s friends and family and ask them to send over any photos that they have of your loved one. Dig up old photo albums at home, too, and pick out the best photos from there. Then, compile all the photos into one big album and give them to your loved one to browse in the hospice.
Better yet, be there with them when they look back at their most precious memories. They may want to recount stories behind those photos, stories that you can relay to other friends and family to keep their memory alive even after they are long gone.
4. A hobby that they love
A hospice facility often gives patients something to do during their free time, but the activities that they provide may not be as enjoyable as the hobbies that your loved one used to engage in when they were still healthy. As long as the hobby is safe for them to do, bring it over to the hospice and allow them to relive some of their best interests and passions.
At the same time, it may be a great idea to introduce them to some new hobbies to keep them entertained.
5. Something from home
Hospice patients feel more ‘at home’ in hospice facilities when they have something in their room that reminds them of their true home. This could be a favorite painting, a picture frame, a throw pillow, a rug, or anything else that has stayed with them for years. Aside from providing comfort, giving your loved one a few things from home will make them feel that they are missed.
6. Scented candles
The soothing scent from a scented candle can help hospice patients relax and take their minds off things, making them feel more at ease with their current environment. It’s also a great idea to give them a scented candle that will remind them of good memories, such as a pastry-scented candle if they love baking or a pine-scented candle if they used to live near the woods.
However, be mindful of scent aversions. If your loved one experiences nausea due to certain smells, this gift is out of the question, so be sure to ask before giving them a scented candle.
7. Moisturizing items
The air in hospice facilities can get quite dry, so giving your loved one some moisturizing products is a great idea. Things like face moisturizer, hand cream, and lip gloss, can help keep their skin hydrated despite the cool, dry air in their room, thus preventing discomfort due to dry skin or capping. Just make sure to choose products that have little to no scent, since heavily scented products can be quite unpleasant to hospice patients.
The goal of hospice care is to give a patient the best quality of life possible for their remaining days. While a hospice facility may try its hardest to provide comfort to all patients, friends and family often need to step up and help their loved ones stay comfortable with these simple comfort items.