While we know that death is an inescapable part of life, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a frightening prospect for many. So, how can you help a loved one facing the end of life while making the most of his or her final years, months or days? Below are some common fears that end of life patients experience, and some information on how to dispel them.
- The Process of Dying and Physical Pain
The idea that dying may bring physical pain to your loved one is a big fear. However, reassure your loved one that pain management is an available and widely used option during the end of life. Your loved one’s home care or hospice nurse can ensure that pain is managed.
- Loss of Control
Allow your loved one to live as close to a normal lifestyle as possible, for as long as possible. This may mean hiring in-home senior care services, to assist with everyday tasks at home, while he or she maintains some level of independence. End of life is a sacred time for most people and their families. Who a person surrounds himself or herself with, especially during end of life, is important. Make sure that if you do hire home care services for your loved one that the agency understands the patient’s needs and requests before staffing. It may be important for your loved one to meet the caregivers in advance of staffing them, to alleviate any tension or fear.
No one wants to feel alone, especially loved ones who are receiving end of life care. To avoid feelings of isolation or loneliness, make sure frequent visits from friends, family members and caregivers take place. Regularly scheduled visits are shown to increase a patient’s quality of life and improve pain management.
- Fear of the Unknown
Everyone wonders, “What will happen to me when I die?” For those at the end of life, this form of anxiety will need to be addressed on a multitude of levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. Involving a health care professional and the loved one’s clergy can be very important and can help provide some insight and reassurance.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when faced with the loss of a loved one. However, working with your loved one to overcome his or her fears, and promoting comfort in the final moments is one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved one.
Nightingale Homecare offers a full-range of professional in-home senior care services for patients throughout the Phoenix metro area, including compassionate end of life care. Contact us at 602-504-1555 to learn more about how we can help bring comfort and peace to your senior loved one.