A social response to support those suffering from a terminal disease is essential to the well-being of a com- munity. It involves cultural values, beliefs and practices. It also focuses on relationships and roles with family, friends and community. Without social support, communities and individuals suffer duress, often in isolation. Providing a safe and comforting environment is the aim of social support. Please see Spiritual Care and Support , page 30, for community pastoral support; and, Community Services and Support , page 47, for a list of many helpful community and social resources. In this Section we present education resources and community programs to help you navigate through the challenges placed on your relationships. The following practical information includes advice for: • Communicating at the end of life • Coping with a terminal illness and promoting emotional health • Becoming a caregiver For additional social support, refer to the Introduction, Meet Your Team , on page 4. They can provide extra in-person support and refer you to additional supports you may need. ❦ COMMUNICATION AT THE END OF LIFE We often hear patients and families say “How do I tell my children?”, “What do I say when I visit?”, “What if I say the wrong thing?”. It is often difficult to know what to say. The following resources offer ideas to make conversations between you, your family and your community a bit easier. The Canadian Virtual Hospice web site is an excellent source of communication information. You will find: • Advice for talking with children • Advice for visiting

• Knowing what to say • Sending condolences • Talking with health care professionals Please refer to the links below.

❦ WHAT DO I SAY TO MY CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN? Talking to children about death can be one of the most difficult tasks we do as adults. Many of us need some advice on how best to talk to our children (see also the “Book and Music List” at the back of this guide, for many

excellent books about death, specifically for children). Please refer to the link, Virtual Hospice, which includes: • Suggestions on starting the conversation • Using open and honest communication • Using simple and clear language • Discerning when professional help is needed


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