S5E7: How to Discuss Hospice Care with a Hesitant Family Member

Compelling Reasons to Give Hospice a Try – and Why it’s Not “Giving Up” on Life

When a family knows that a dying person needs hospice care but they are hesitant or resistant, it can be a challenging situation. This week we talk about the things to consider and discuss with the person facing the end of life.  Remember that each family’s situation is unique, and open communication and empathy are crucial during this difficult time.

In this Episode:

  • 05:38 – Recipe of the Week: Blueberry Banana Oatmeal
  • 08:05 – How to Stop Worry from Stopping You
  • 11:02 – Perceived Barriers to Hospice vs the Actual Facts
  • 24:15 – Daniella Thackery’s Self-Written Eulogy
  • 29:34 – How a 5 Year Old Approaches Death: Bouncy Castles, Snow cones and Batman
  • 37:40 – Outro

Why Choose Hospice?

Research findings have demonstrated that hospice care can improve how patients experience the end of life as well as improving the quality of life. Yet people will delay utilizing their hospice benefit.  We dispel some of the misconceptions that can stand in the way of the important decision for hospice.

What are the Barriers to Choosing Hospice Support?

Marianne goes into several reasons that people may be hesitant to enroll in hospice. (Listen to the podcast to learn more.) Many are misconceptions, such as it’s giving up. On the contrary, several studies have shown that hospice care can help some patients live longer due to better symptom management and less toxicity from discontinued treatments.

What is the Primary Benefit of Hospice?

Hospice care provides a team that focuses on the patient’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well as their physical health, which can significantly improve quality of life. They closely track symptoms respond quickly to treat discomfort. Patients receive pain and symptom management, including management for physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, and anxiety. The team also provides invaluable support for caregivers.

How Can I Learn More about the Decision to Go into Hospice?

Listen to this episode as we go into detail into some of the barriers. Also visit some of our related content, listed below.

Related Content:

A basketball player. In his blog "Play all the Seniors" Chris Sperry talks about the end game

S2E29: How do you decide if it is time for hospice care?

When is the right time is to move from a treatment-oriented approach to hospice care? Listen to our interview with Chris Sperry as he shares how he and his wife came to the decision to move to hospice care.

Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn holding hands in old age as they did many times

S4E43: The Carters – Living Their Best Life to the End

Does choosing hospice mean the end? The Carters have shown us hospice is about holding hands, eating favorite foods, and living your best life, even while dying.

A woman with cancer meditating while King Leonidas rallies his Spartans for a battle in the background, a metaphor for illness and choosing a different way to consider it than a "fight"

S4E21: Don’t Call it a Battle: Why We Need to Change our Metaphors for Serious Illness

We often use words like fighting, battle, and war for illness like cancer, but can “fighters” feel like failures when illness advances? Learn how can we do better.

  • S1E30: The Expectations of Hospice Care: What should one expect if a family member is discharged to hospice? We talk about this as well as some resources to help caregivers.
  • S1E18: Hospice and End of Life with Mary Kazanowski: For this episode we interview Mary Kazanowski, PhD, former professor at St. Anselm College in Manchester and an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner with 30 years’ experience as a hospice nurse. What can you learn after spending this much time supporting patients near the end of life?
  • S3E37: What Can a Mindfulness Practice Offer You? Learn how mindfulness can help grief and trauma recovery, reduce stress, decrease anxiety and depression, and aid in coping with chronic pain.

How to Stop Worry from Stopping You

Dr. Robert Leahy, is the author of The Worry Cure: 7 Steps to Stop Worry From Stopping You. He says that “People worry because they think something bad will happen or could happen, so they activate a hyper-vigilant strategy of worry and think that ‘if I worry, I can prevent this bad thing from happening or catch it early.”

If you want to help yourself by worrying less, we have some great ideas to help. Listen to find out!

Celebration of Lives Well-Lived

“I chose not to mourn the life I was losing despite being so devastated, but to instead enjoy every moment I had left.”

Daniella Thackray

We shared a viral last message from 25 year old Daniella Thackray who died from a rare and aggressive brain cancer. Her attitude to the end was an incredible example. Listen to our third segment for her pre-written eulogy that was shared on social media.

We also share the story of a 5-year old that wrote his own obituary and funeral wishes before he died. His parents spent nine months watching 5-year-old son Garrett battle a rare form of pediatric cancer. Through all the painful treatments, Garrett never lost his sense of humor.

Watch the videos below of his inspiring story. You can find the book Dirty, Stupid Cancer! on Amazon here.

What celebration of life is complete with out bouncy castles, superheroes, and snow cones?

Recipe of the Week

Are you trying to stay healthy on the run? Here’s a fantastic recipe for you from Live Well Bake Often – Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal. It’s a easy to make and perfect for a quick, healthy breakfast or snack throughout the week!



We are also selected as one of the Top 50 Grief Blogs on the Web!

From Everyone Dies:

Everyone Dies: and yes, it is normal!

Everyone Dies (and yes, it is normal) is a story about a young boy named Jax who finds something special on the beach where he and his grandpa Pops are enjoying a wonderful day. Pops helps Jax understand that death is a normal part of life. This book provides an age appropriate, non-scary, comfortable way to introduce the important topic of mortality to a preschool child. Its simple explanation will last a lifetime. Autographed copies for sale at: www.everyonediesthebook.com. Also available at Amazon

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We offer a way to memorialize your loved one or treasured pet with a piece of handmade jewelry.  When people comment on it and the wearer can say for example “I received this when my mother died” which opens the conversation about this loss. All our jewelry is made with semi-precious stones and beads, vintage beads, and pearls. You can choose between earrings or bracelets and the color family. Learn More

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