Caring for a Loved One at the End of Life

Caring For A Loved One At The End Of Life

As your terminally ill loved one nears the end of life, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed with anticipatory grief and the challenges of meeting your loved one’s needs. If your family hasn’t already done so, you may reach out to a hospice care provider. Arranging for home care in Memphis can ensure your loved one receives the help he or she needs while giving your family some much needed time to simply be present with your loved one.

Assisting with Basic Tasks
It’s likely that your loved one will become increasingly unable to care for him-or herself. Your loved one may be confined to a bed, which means he or she needs assistance with toileting. It is often difficult for family members, particularly adult children, to help their loved ones with tasks of such a personal nature. A home health care provider can assist your loved one with toileting to preserve his or her dignity. An in-home care provider can also help you position your loved one to improve comfort and reduce the risk of bedsores. There are many other things you can do to improve your loved one’s physical comfort. If he or she is no longer eating and drinking, you may apply lip balm and periodically insert a small ice chip into his or her mouth. If your loved one appears to be in pain, let the physician know that he or she may need additional medications or a stronger dose.

Caring For A Loved One At The End Of Life in Memphis, TN Providing Reassurance
Even as individuals at the end of life lose many basic functions, they can often still hear their family members. Touch his or her hand to let your loved one know you’re there and speak to him or her with a calming voice. If your loved one is aware enough to respond to the surroundings, he or she may sometimes become agitated or confused. Provide reassurance as needed. The physician can address severe agitation.

Understanding End of Life Changes
It is impossible to know how long someone will require end of life care. You may wish to learn some of the indicators that the end is near so that you can prepare yourself. Generally, individuals become withdrawn and sleep more than usual. They may want to change positions frequently and they may have changes in breathing. Do not become alarmed if your loved one refuses food and drink; this is also typical.