No one wants to think about the end of their loved one’s life, but it’s a reality that everyone must face. You have the opportunity to make the end of your family member’s life happier and easier.
But it’s going to take time and effort on your end.
Older people are set to outnumber children, so there’s a good chance one of your loved one’s will be at their end-of-life soon.
Whether you’re a hospice volunteer or your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, you have little time left to act. Taking these measures will make not only the person’s end of life happier, but you’ll also be able to make lasting memories with the person.
Start with Making Yourself Well-Aware of the Treatments and Road Ahead
Treatments and the road ahead will be scary for family, friends and the person that is dying. It’s up to you to educate yourself on what to expect. Yes, you may just be a bystander in the whole situation, but knowing what your loved one is going through will definitely allow you to prepare the best comfort for them.
A few of the things that you can do are:
- Determine which treatments will make the person’s life more comfortable.
- Determine what you can do to make their lives easier.
- Discuss options with doctors to see what they recommend you do to ease the person’s pain or help them through this rough time.
- Consider what the person will be able to tolerate and if an aggressive treatment is going to be the right option or will lead to undue pain.
Your family member may have a lot of questions to ask the doctor, or they may be beaten down, tired, depressed and not ready evaluate all of their options. If you take this burden away from them, you’ll put their mind at ease and be better able to help them during their last days.
You may also need to learn how to care for your loved one, and this includes how to perform life-saving procedures.
Make Their Last Days as Comfortable and Fulfilling as Possible
Your loved one doesn’t have much time left on earth, and you want to make sure that they’re able to do everything as comfortable as possible. They’ll surely want to say goodbye to friends and family, and this may mean the person using a portable wheelchair to get around.
You may also want to make their lives easier by providing:
- Mobility aids
- Hospital beds
- Medical supplies
- Hoyer lifts
- Grab bars
The key is to have all of the items that the person will need to live a fulfilled life at the end of their days. You may not be able to outfit your home with the latest equipment or wide doors, but providing the person with the ability to remain mobile and even go to the bathroom will allow them to maintain their dignity.
Fulfill Some of Your Loved One’s Wishes
Before hospice care or palliative care takes over, if they do, you’ll want to make sure that the person gets to check some of their last wishes off of their list. Of course, this may mean making a will, or it may mean seeing a sunset on the beach.
When possible, and it’s not always possible to do so, but when possible, you’ll want to make sure that some of their last wishes have been fulfilled.
It’s a great way to bring joy and happiness into the person’s life, and it also allows you to create lasting memories with the person that you’ll never forget.
Just because a person will not be around for long doesn’t mean that they’re dead just yet. Help the person relive some of their favorite memories in life even if that means just sitting down and talking to the person, asking questions about their life and really engaging with them.
For a lot of people, they just want their stories to be heard.
And listening is something that every one of us can do.
These are all steps that you should be taking to care for your loved one, but there is always more to do, including:
- Research assisted living facilities
- Research nursing facilities
- Become friendly with doctors and nurses
- Ask a lot of questions from care providers
One of the hardest things you’ll need to do is discuss your loved one’s last wishes. Ask your loved one what their last wishes are, and for the ease of your family, try to have them write a will so that it helps quash any family disagreements that may happen.