Dealing with end of life is an extremely emotional season — especially when you are a caregiver to the family member who is expected to pass. The Nursing Team loves working with clients in all seasons of life, but considers it a special privilege to help families during this unique time. In our experience, these are the 5 key things we try to help families embrace when the time comes.
- Rely on hospice, home care, friends or other family so you can use your time for loving on your loved one.
Maybe that’s why we feel so good helping during this time — because we can do all the things that you don’t need to be thinking about like errands, keeping the laundry done, the house picked up, planning meals and even making sure hygiene is being taken care of.
- Have all the legal paperwork ready.
Most people don’t like to think about this ahead of time because they feel like it’s dishonoring their loved one, but having things in order like advanced healthcare directives, wills and even some pre-planning of funeral or memorial services will alleviate added stress later.
- Depending on the cognitive state of your loved one, you may need to help them process their feelings as they face their final days. The feeling of helplessness may overcome you, but remember to just be there for them. Listen to them without becoming so distraught that the attention goes to yourself. Simply being present can be enough and it’s important to meet them at their level of acceptance. If your loved one is not in a verbally cognitive state, it may be helpful to simply talk with other family members openly and honestly about how you are feeling.
- See it as a privilege. While it can be a scary time, especially if you’ve never dealt with an end-of-life situation before, consider it a gift that you can be with someone in their final hours. Just as it is so miraculous to see a baby come into this world, it it equally transformative to witness someone’s passing. It makes us cherish life just a bit more.
- Keep them comfortable. One of the hardest aspects of end-of-life care is seeing your loved one in pain. If this is something that will be hard for you, we highly recommend enlisting Hospice care and/or professional home caregivers who have experience in dealing with end-of-life situations. Have blankets on hand to keep them warm. Play their favorite music to soothe them. Sometimes loved ones will even refuse food and water. This is their body’s way of letting go. Offering it is, of course, always an option, but forcing it on them shouldn’t be.
If you or a loved one need home care assistance or anticipate an end-of-life season, The Nursing Team is here to help. We treat every client with the same dignity and respect we gave our own mothers during their passing — an experience which inspired our involvement in the home care industry.
Call us today for a FREE consultation and learn how we can transform your challenging caregiving experience into one of JOY!