It can feel helpless to know that your senior is battling a terminal illness and maybe is close to the end of that fight. There are some things you can do to help both of you using these tips and help from end of life care services.
Try to Understand What She Wants
If you and your elderly family member have already talked about what she wants during the later stages of her life, you may have a good handle on what to do. But lots of times, family members avoid this talk until they’re forced to have it. Try to help your senior to express what she wants and how you can help to make that happen for her.
Share Memories Together, if She’s Open to That
Going over old stories and memories that you love with your family member can be wonderful. If she’s open to talking about these memories, it can be a terrific way to remember the past and even to get details captured about stories you might not have known fully. Bring pictures or videos to your senior and look at these pieces of memorabilia together.
Do What You Can to Respect Her Privacy
Dignity and privacy can feel in short supply for your senior when she’s dealing with a terminal illness. Do what you are able to do in order to respect your senior’s privacy. This can be as simple as making sure that you knock before you enter her room and leave the room if your senior is about to have a sponge bath. Talk to your elderly family member about what her boundaries are and what she feels most comfortable with so you can help meet those needs.
Help Her to Make Any Final Decisions
If your elderly family member has been avoiding talking about her final wishes, now might be the time to try that talk again. The goal isn’t to upset her, of course. Make sure that she’s aware that your big goal is to do exactly what she wants after she has passed away.
Find out How Else You Can Help with End of Life Care Services
There may be more that you can do to help your senior, even if it’s not you that’s offering the hands-on help. End of life care providers have the experience and training to help your senior with a variety of needs, both medical and otherwise, as she faces a terminal illness. They can help you to find resources as well, for you and for your senior.
Facing a terminal illness with your senior is not easy, but there are things that you can focus on that can help.