How-to Prepare for a Loved One’s End of Life

Preparing for a Loved One’s End of Life
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is End of Life care?

End of life care is the support provided after an End of Life prognosis is made, when care goals transition from curative measures to comfort and quality of life. It may include hospice and palliative care. It can be provided at home, in hospice care centers and nursing homes, or in a hospital.

2. What emotional challenges may affect my loved one?

Emotions like depression, anxiety or fear are common at End of Life. Many people worry about loss of control and dignity as their physical abilities decline. Some patients fear being a burden to loved ones, while also fear being alone. Encourage your loved one to talk about their feelings, either with you or a close friend, or religious or spiritual advisor. Hospice professionals and some counselors specialize in End of Life support.

3. How can I comfort my loved one when End of Life is near?

Each person’s needs differ in the final stages of life. Some ways to provide support include being physically present and listening without interruption. Promote a calm environment through music and art and lighting. Surround your loved one with comforting remembrances like family pictures, artwork, flowers, and other personal items. If End of Life is close, reassuring your loved one that it is okay to pass away may help both of you at this emotionally challenging time.

4. What is respite care and how can it help caregivers?

Respite care can help families rest and recover from the intensity of End of Life caregiving. Respite care providers can ease the day-to-day demands of caregiving by assisting with bathing, medication, housecleaning and other tasks. A person may receive respite care in their home, adult day centers and in nursing homes.

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