3 Ways to Extend Support to an End-of-Life Patient
As a loved one approaches the end of their life, it can be an emotional and challenging time for everyone involved – you, your loved one and your family. Even if you’ve had time to prepare for the death, no one is ever really ready. The very thought of losing someone close is overwhelming and hard to process, and some people cope by pushing these feelings away.
However, it’s important to make sure that your loved one receives adequate support during this time. You are not alone, and this is not all on you. Reach out to friends, family, neighbors and coworkers for support, and take advantage of the services available to you, such as palliative care and hospice care. These services can be a huge asset during this difficult time.
Here are three ways to extend support to a loved one who is nearing the end of life.
1. Be Present and Listen
One of the most valuable things you can do for an end-of-life patient is listen to them. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings without judgment. To be an effective listener, you’ll need to be present. Spend time with your loved one and make sure they feel loved and valued.
Some of the things you can do with a dying loved one include reading, listening to music, looking through family photo albums, watching TV or simply holding their hand. Make sure they have everything they need to be comfortable in the moment, such as a soft blanket and pillow. Just being there and offering a listening ear can make all the difference.
2. Assist with Personal Care and Emotional Support
End-of-life patients often need help with personal care such as bathing, toileting and grooming. This can be a sensitive issue, so be sure to approach it with kindness and respect. Your loved one should feel comfortable and supported during these activities.
Emotional support is also important. End-of-life patients experience a wide range of emotions, including fear, sadness and anxiety. You can help your loved one manage these emotions by listening to them, reassuring them and being present. Now is also a good time to discuss any specific requests or preferences your loved one has.
3. Seek Professional Support
Caring for an end-of-life patient can be emotionally and physically draining, but help is available. Don’t hesitate to seek professional support for yourself and your loved one. For example, hospice care is a type of end-of-life care that focuses on quality of life for the patient. It can help with personal care, grooming and managing uncomfortable symptoms like pain.
Bereavement services are often offered as part of hospice, and they provide support to families for 13 months after a loved one has passed. Both hospice and bereavement services are typically covered by Medicare, so you will not pay anything out of pocket for them.
VNA Health Group Offers End-of-Life Support
The end-of-life experience can be scary and overwhelming, but you do not have to face it alone. VNA Health Group offers palliative care, hospice care and bereavement services for patients and their families. Contact us today to learn more about these services and how to best support your loved one in these final chapters.
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