5 Ways to Keep Your Child Happy in Hospice

Last Updated on 1 year ago by Nicky Johnson

Having a child in hospice care can be one of the most stressful and gut-wrenching moments in a person’s life.  You want to keep your child happy and avoid letting them see how it’s affecting you: but it can be hard to figure out the best way to do this.

These are five ways to keep your child happy in hospice and why it’s such an important task.

Visit Often When Possible

The biggest mistake you can make is avoiding visiting your child.  It’s easy to get quickly selfish about this and decide that you don’t want to see your child as they get sicker and less responsive, but your discomfort doesn’t come anywhere close to what theirs is.  

Set up a schedule so that loved ones can stop in multiple times a week and cheer them up.  Don’t treat it like a chore; make it a fun way to celebrate the life of your child while they’re still here with you.

Remember to Treat Them Like Kids

A problem some parents can run into is forgetting to treat a child in a hospice like a kid.  You see how much time they have left, and it’s hard to avoid seeing them in the same light we see older adults in the same situation.  Talk to them, play with them, and have fun with them, all in the same way you would before they needed hospice care.  This will change everything for your kid.

Pick a Center With Other Kids

Try to avoid having your child be the only kid at their hospice location.  You may assume that it’s better to avoid them dealing with getting attached to new kids, only to have to say goodbye; it’s important to understand that this will help make the process easier for them as they work through the same thing.

A kid never ends up in children’s hospice care for a fun reason: but if your child starts asking questions, it’s vital that you don’t lie to them.  Be honest and patient, and talk them through the reality of their situation.  If you don’t know the answer to a question, say you’ll talk to someone about it, but don’t leave them feeling like they’re in the dark or being lied to.

Bring Cutely and Fun Entertainment

Which things did your child love before they became ill or injured?  Did they love bubbles, games, art, or anything creative?  Try to bring fun and exciting activities: and complete some with them.  Although many parents feel like the main goal should be bringing items for their kid to use while you’re not visiting, this can often feel like a chore or homework to the kid.  Instead, spend time with your child enjoying these items, and help them feel that same joy and excitement they usually have. 

Children in Hospice Care Are Still Children

Regardless of what illness they’re going through or how much life is left: this is still a child.  Taking steps to ensure that your child is cared for, loved, and happy will give you the opportunity to make the most of their time left.