Resources / Navigating Loss: Understanding Bereavement Care in Hospice

Navigating Loss: Understanding Bereavement Care in Hospice

Hospice bereavement care is a specialized support system offered to individuals and families who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. Beyond just offering a listening ear, hospice bereavement provides ongoing comfort, guidance, resources and education to help individuals navigate the stages of grief and loss.

Key Takeaways:

  • The differences between “bereavement” and “grief.”
  • Aspects of bereavement care such as grief counseling, support groups and education.
  • How hospices, through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, provide bereavement support.

Bereavement vs. Grief

It’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between when someone is grieving and someone who is suffering bereavement. While used interchangeably, it’s important to understand the difference between the two.

Grief is the emotional reaction whereas bereavement is the time period that a person mourns that loss. Grief is what you work through and bereavement is what you go through.

Symptoms of bereavement may include:

  • Inability to focus
  • Sadness
  • Lack of purpose
  • Detachment

Symptoms of grief may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anger
  • Denial
  • Loss of appetite

There are many different types of grief that can occur at any time. Types of grief may include:

What Does Bereavement Care Consist Of?

Hospice bereavement care can be personalized to meet an individual’s unique needs and include options for grief counseling, virtual or in-person support groups, regular check-in calls, education and assistance connecting with additional community resources. Bereavement support can provide a connection for sharing and understanding the emotions that are part of the journey through grief. Additionally, hospice bereavement teams may offer support for memorial and ritual services, depending on the individual wishes of family members to honor the memory of loved ones.

Hospice and Bereavement Care

Hospice care includes bereavement support for the family and close friends of the patient. St. Croix Hospice provides support for families and loved ones for up to 13 months after a patient dies. Our comprehensive, personalized program offers individualized support that meets each person’s unique needs during the grief journey.

Navigating through loss can be difficult. However, with hospice bereavement support, families and loved ones can find a path towards healing.