Grief is experienced differently by everyone when facing the loss of a loved one. No matter the type of grief you're experiencing, there is no one right way to heal and no set time for how long your grieving process should take.
Having a bereavement support system can help you identify strengths, difficulties, stressors and coping strategies to guide you through life after experiencing a significant loss.
What is Bereavement?
While many believe grief and bereavement to be the same thing, bereavement is the experience or state of having lost something and grief is any reaction to that loss. Supporting those left behind is a key component of hospice's holistic care model, ensuring family caregivers and close friends can manage their grief effectively.
Grief manifests in different ways, affecting individuals emotionally, cognitively, physically and spiritually. Patients and families that choose hospice for end-of-life care can receive guidance from trained, experienced grief support professionals as they navigate continued after-effects of loss.
What support can hospice provide for bereavement?
The hospice care team provides physical, emotional and spiritual support for a loved one experiencing a terminal illness. But hospice care doesn’t stop once the patient takes their last breath. It provides grieving support before, during, and after death throughout the grieving process.
Bereavement team support may include:
- Support to individuals and families via phone, virtually, or in person
- Bereavement support groups
- Memorial services
- Pre-loss support
- Referrals to appropriate therapeutic and community resources.
- Written materials (cards, letters, booklets)
- Commemorative activities (Tree Planting, Veteran Remembrances)
- Holiday grief support
- Facility/community grief education and support
Bereavement services offer loved ones hope and encouragement for life after loss by empowering them to find new joy, new understandings and renewed strength.
How long after a patient's death does hospice provide bereavement support?
As part of the Medicare hospice benefit, family caregivers and close friends of a hospice patient have access to bereavement care from the time of the patient’s admission until 13 months following the death of the patient. The bereavement team will send periodic support materials to the family throughout this time, offering more advanced support or referrals to other resources as needed.
Bereavement Support Groups
Many hospice companies like Amedisys provide specialized support group environments that offer safe spaces for bereaved individuals to identify their feelings and navigate their unique grief journey in a healthy way. Participants gain support for grief and tools to move beyond loss.
Sharing experiences with those who are going through similar situations is a proven way to gain comfort and reassurance, further advancing a positive grief recovery.
Looking for a support group near you? Amedisys offers both virtual and in-person options.
How does Amedisys provide bereavement support?
Hospice bereavement services are provided by trained and experienced staff members, including bereavement coordinators, chaplains and social workers. These professionals are a core part of the Amedisys hospice care team and focus on the unique aspect of emotional and spiritual support.
What role do each of these team members play in helping loved ones navigate through loss?
- Bereavement Coordinators complete emotional, psycho-social and spiritual assessments. They coordinate the plan of care and grief support needs as desired by loved ones.
- Chaplains and spiritual counselors can help loved ones find meaning and peace after their loved one’s death while discussing faith in a way that resonates with everyone's set of beliefs.
- Hospice social workers help loved ones connect with community resources and provide support and assistance to cope with their feelings surrounding death.
Bereavement support services can start as soon as your loved one enters hospice care in preparation for their death and continue after death. It’s important to openly discuss the loss of your loved one to understand what they consider to be a good death and to ensure that you know their preferences and wishes. Our bereavement team at Amedisys can help you have these hard conversations and guide the way for your loved ones wishes to be honored.
Where can you find a bereavement care team?
You can visit our location directory to discover if Amedisys provides hospice care near you. Our team will assign you and your loved ones a bereavement care coordination as soon as the patient starts our hospice services. They will conduct a bereavement assessment for all loved ones involved.
Having a bereavement care team is instrumental in helping you cope before, during and after the death of your loved one. Discover if your loved one is eligible for hospice care and connect with the Amedisys team today.