Friends Mom Under Hospice Care?

Updated on August 07, 2010
A.R. asks from Oxnard, CA
10 answers

Hi everyone, I just found out one of my friends mom is under hospice care. My question to you is how do I help her through this? What can I say to help her? What are your experiances if any with having a loved one under hospice care.

I am lost on what to do or if I should even do anything. I really want to help her get through this knowing she has a friend and someone that cares about her. She is an only child so this is really all on her and her kids. She is so quiet to begin with and when she does have problems she shuts down untiil you ask her how things are going.

I would really appreciate any suggestions. Maybe some groups or websites I can direct her to so she gets help or support from more people.
Thank you so much ahead of time!!!!!

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answers from Hickory on

I had a friend who's husband just passed away while in hospice care this week. Just let her know you are there for anything she needs. If it be a shoulder to cry on, a strong arm to hold on to while facing the hard times ahead, and if need be based on how close a friend you are she may need someone with her when it comes time to plan everything when her mother passes. You can help cook meals if she has a family at home so all she has to do is reheat stuff. Anything that will make things easier so she is not pulled in to many different directions at this time. Hope this helped.

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answers from Topeka on

Hospice is such a wonderful support group....they are going to be a really good resource for your friend, for her Mother and the entire family.
The best thing you can do is just be her friend. Has she gone to stay at her Mothers home, or had the Mother moved into her home? Maybe you could offer to take a meal, or better yet, coordinate with a group of her friends to take food in to them several times a week.
You don't say how old her children are, or how close you are to her Mother. Possibly it would be helpful to offer to come and sit with her Mother while she is free to go and get things done with the children, or simply to go out for a family dinner, while knowing that her Mother is being well cared for.
Let her know that you are there to offer a shoulder for her if she needs someone to talk to, or someone to cry to. I cared for my Mother for the last 6 weeks of her life, and I can tell you that there were days that what I wanted most was just someone to listen to me!!!
As her Mother's condition becomes more serious, and she possibly becomes bedridden, then your friends needs are going to change. It would be nice if you offered to help with housework, or with the laundry. Just help take some of the burden off of her shoulders.
Does the Mother or your friend have a church that they are active in? If so, make sure that the church is aware of the situation because they should be right there, offering to help in any way that they can.
Most of all, just continue to be her friend...let her know that you love her and that you are sorry for what she is going through. And after her Mother is gone, don't forget that she still needs your love and support.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I'm so sorry for your friend. You might provide her and her children with food. I'm sure she is spending a large amount of time with her mom, and cooking is probably the last thing she needs to be worrying about. Even taking her and the kids some snacks to hospice (or is she at home with hospice care there?). Cheese and crackers to provide some protein, fruit, nuts, chicken salad, a loaf of bread with some lunch meats/mayo/mustard. Pack stuff in a little cooler. Include water. How old are the kids? Coloring books if they are young, with some new crayons. I would avoid sending sugary things as sugar very often leads to illness, and she definitely doesn't need to be getting sick right now. Go by and see what errands she needs to have run. Many people will hesitate to impose, but insist that you are free for the time and you want to help her. Bring her a coffee if she drinks coffee. Just keep her company. Magazines or a good book are helpful while her mom is sleeping. All of these things will be a blessing to her. Also, if her kids are young, offer to take them to a park or someplace where they can get out and run and play. I'm sure she'd enjoy the break for a little bit. And, the kids will too.

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answers from Indianapolis on

What is her mom in hospice care for? I ask because there are a ton of cancer organizations dedicated to being support networks not only for the patient (if needed and desired), but also the loved ones. Imerman Angels was one that helped me get through becoming a cancer survivor 2 years ago.

Having been on the receiving end of a cancer diagnosis, I can say that the only thing your friend really needs right now is another friend.

It's completely OK to ask her what she needs. If she doesn't know, it's OK. Just be there. Simple acts like mowing her yard, taking her kids for a few hours, asking if she needs some things when you go to the grocery store go a LONG way.

Even things like letting her know she and her family have been added to a prayer list at a church can be hugely uplifting.

In my case, I needed people to remind me why I wanted to fight through the chemo. A simple gesture like wearing a Livestrong bracelet in my honor were hugely helpful......and very much noticed when they were taken off even while the chemo continued.

Death reminds us of how important people in life really are. At the end of the day, if you have your health and your friends/family, you really do have everything.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hospice has an excellent support system for their patients and the patients families. The services include an RN, social worker, volunteer support, and bath A.. It is a strong support system.

I can imagine that your friend is going through a very tough time. Perhaps you can offer to help her with her kids, bring a meal over to her so she doesn't have to cook one or two nights, and just let her know that you are there for her and that you know she is going through a very difficult time.

Does her mom live with her or is her mom in a facility or at her own home? This could change the type of support she needs. I would be happy to talk more about it with you if you want to talk further.

I think if you are honest with her about wanting to be there for her for support, she will really appreciate your loving support.



answers from Denver on

When my step-dad was on hospice last year a friend just sat and listened to me. One time I mentioned how overwhelmed I was feeling on that particular day and I hadn't even had time to think about my nails, much less find some nail polish remover so I could at least get the funky polish off my toes. -Yes, this sounds totally trivial, but it's not like I could truly open up at the time because my step-dad was still dying, and I just didn't feel right grieving quite yet. -Anyway, she brought some nail polish remover over the next day with some cotton balls and I just broke down. It was such a sincere gesture.

Find some way to help make her day, even if it's just to be there for her to listen. Sorry to hear about the hospice. As everyone says though, they're a wonderful team.


answers from Los Angeles on

My Mother was in Hospice for around 8 months. They were great the entire time, and even after her death. I have a brother that has some mental problems and we were terribly afraid of how he was handling everything and going to handle it when my mom passed (she was in liver failure). We expressed those concerns to the initial social worker and they set up for a minister to come and talk to my brother. They also noted that after she passed someone could come back and check in with him, as well as have him attend grief support meetings for after her passing.
They did everything they said (even though my brother turned most of the services down). There really is nothing to say to help her, but you can definately offer your help. I found that someone even picking up some groceries for me, watching my baby for a few hours, meeting me for lunch (to get out of the house), or just coming over and just being there with me so I didn't feel so alone was all helpful. I also come from friends/family that bring over food whenever someone is sick. So I had plenty to eat and didn't have to worry about cooking.
Just keep asking her if she needs any help. Even if she doesn't take your help at first, she might as time goes on. It's very sweet of you to help your friend through this, I will say a prayer for you guys. Good Luck.



answers from Dallas on

When my mother was in hospice I didn't even have the time or energy to take glasses etc. back to the kitchen let alone wash them. If you live there and the hospice is in a home just look around and do what needs to be done. It didn't matter then whether anything was put where it needed to be just that it was taken care of right then. After her death I was able to straighten things up when I finally had some energy. Caring for a family member who is dying is physically and emothinally draining.

Thank you for being a friend.



answers from Dallas on

My best friend's mother just passed under Hospice care. What I did for my friend was to just show up. I didn't ask her if I could come or what she needed, I just showed up and was there with her. I did this a couple of times and I stayed as long as she needed me. She said many many times how glad she was that I was there, even though I didn't "do" anything.


answers from Detroit on

let her know what ever she needs you are there for her. and that she is not alone in this. i'm sure she will be glad to hear that and will find some comfort in knowing you have her back! kudos to you for being such a good friend. good luck!