What Can I Do Now?
If you and your family members have had conversations about hospice care, you may be left wondering, “What now?” It is now time to help the patient live life to the fullest for whatever time remains.
This may involve bringing family members to visit with the patient, offering tastes of favorite foods, watching favorite movies, and listening to songs from the past. Often the patient’s greatest desire is to continue living as fully as possible for as long as possible. Knowing who your loved ones have been throughout their life is key to helping affirm them in their remaining days.
Some patients and families find comfort in reciting Tehillim – reading chapters from the book of Psalms – at the bedside. At the bedside of critically ill patients, family and community members may offer variations of Mi Sheberakh (the prayers for recovery), or the patient may request to recite a Viddui (final confession). This confession can be offered by the patient or on the patient’s behalf by family members, a rabbi, chaplain or volunteer.
Other people find singing soothing songs and melodies or offering gentle touch can provide both the patient and the family with a sense of intimacy and comfort. Some have shared that these moments of wordless presence make an enormous difference in decreasing the patient’s pain and agitation and increasing the family’s calm and comfort.
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For patients to recite: