Independence Day generally does not have the same significance for hospice patients and families that Thanksgiving and Christmas possess. July 4th however IS an important holiday with many traditions shared with family and friends. At Hope Hospice, we encourage patients and families to celebrate our nation’s birthday and appreciate the blessings we experience as Americans.
Parades, fireworks, concerts and other activities present opportunities to enjoy experiences with the hospice patient in your family. When the American flag passes by and a marching band plays a Sousa march or other patriotic song, emotions are stirred. Memories of past Independence Days can be just as vivid as our nostalgia for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Even if your family member who is a hospice patient is not strong enough to leave home to attend July 4th events, television coverage can bring these spectacles into your family room. The company of family and friends can add to the joy these programs bring.
Don’t forget the foods of July 4th. Even if your hospice patient eats lightly, she or he can enjoy the aromas of the pork steaks, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, potato chips and other 4th favorites. Just a few bites of these classic summer foods may be enough to make your patient happy.
If you do choose to view a community parade, be sure that your hospice patient has a good view and is shaded from bright sunlight. Place a folding chair at the front of the crowd or on higher ground for better parade viewing.
If you plan to take your hospice patient out of the house to see fireworks, you may want to try to find a location to watch from your car. Check for listings of fireworks displays: suburban and rural shows will not generate the heavy traffic of shows in urban areas. If you choose to find a spot to watch fireworks outside of your car, be sure to bring a good flashlight for navigation in dark areas.
Serving as a caregiver for a hospice patient can be a daunting task, but holidays and other celebrations can add happiness for both the patient and caregiver. Happy Independence Day to all from Hope Hospice!