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Nov 25, 2022

We’re having an open, honest discussion with hospice social worker and author Jill Johnson-Young about intimacy during a serious illness. Jill’s been widowed twice, and knows the importance of physical intimacy even at the end of life.  As a hospice social worker, Jill has seen what it’s like for terminally ill patients and their partners to struggle with physical intimacy.  Losing physical intimacy is just another loss of identity and who couples are together. It can be a source of anticipatory grief at a time when intimacy is so important.  There are many layers to physical intimacy, not just the sexual component.  After the death has occurred, it can be important for the partner to be involved in providing postmortem care, to bathe their loved one’s body.  Hospice professionals can support and encourage the desire of patients and their partners to be physically intimate.  Humans need connection to thrive, and that doesn’t stop in the presence of a serious illness.

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