Conversation Starters to Help Talk with Someone on Hospice

Have you ever had a friend or a colleague who has gone through a difficult time, and you want to reach out to them, but you just don’t know what to do or say? Many people fear saying the wrong thing, so they end up not saying anything at all. Maybe they put off visiting or calling, or they make small talk when they see them.  It’s usually not due to a lack of caring, but rather fear of saying something “wrong”.  What kind of conversation can we have with someone who is dealing with difficult circumstances?

We find this can be especially true for someone who is facing a life-limiting illness and receiving hospice care. Family and friends want to visit, spend time together and be supportive, but they aren’t sure what to say.  Or just as importantly, what they should avoid saying.  Friends and family often express concern about bringing up topics that may cause their loved one to feel sad. However, this time with your loved one can be a wonderful opportunity for meaningful discussions, reminiscing and providing closure, for both you and your loved one. These conversations are usually welcomed, and can contribute to the patient’s overall quality of life and well being.

Larry Platten, a writer and minister who works with hospice recently wrote an article entitled “5 Questions to Ask a Hospice Patient”. In his article he asks “With some hospice patients, even when they are friends or family members, we’re unsure of how to keep a conversation going. It may be easy to begin a chat about today’s weather or yesterday’s news, but what about having a conversation that matters?” Larry provides some great conversation starters, to provide deeper, more meaningful conversations with those on hospice.  Read Larry’s full article from The Fresno Bee using the link below.