How to Support Your Terminally Ill Relatives

nurse taking blood sugar from old woman

When our loved ones are diagnosed with terminal illnesses, they go through a lot of emotional and mental turmoil. With the imminent death lurking around the corner, most of the patients lose hope in life and get weaker faster than they would had they known they would get cured. But with good care, these patients can live longer, experience less pain, and have a better quality of life.   Below are some tips on taking good care of your terminally ill loved one.

Show Empathy

Empathy is the nature of understanding what the patient feels and being in tune with them. In essence, you are stepping into their shoes and seeing things from their perspective. This way, you are able to act accordingly and take care of their emotional needs even when they cannot really explain what they are experiencing.

Offer Quality Personal Care

At later stages of their illnesses, the terminally ill may not be able to perform basic activities such as feeding, using the toilet, bathing, or even changing the way they sleep. You should be there to help them with these tasks. The patients may not want to eat, take medicine, or even take a bath. Avoid the use of force when performing these tasks, as it brings resentment. Explain to them why you should perform such care on them and do it lovingly.

woman caring for a senior citizen

Change Your Home to Make It Comfortable for the Patients

You may need to rearrange the patient’s rooms so that it’s easy for you or them to perform the basic tasks. The room may need a toilet, a hoist, and a hospital bed. You may not place the bed against the wall as you may be required to move around the bed when taking care of the patient. Consider other things such as a mattress with alternating pressure if the patient has an abscess on one side. Install soft light and noise absorbers if you live in a very noisy neighborhood or if the patient is affected by bright lights.

Consider Taking them to a Hospice Center

Sometimes, the nature of the illness may require specialized care from experienced nurses or caregivers. You may also not be having the time, resources, and space to take care of the terminally ill effectively. Choose a reputable hospice care center in Southern Indiana and arrange for your patient to move in. Hospice centers take in patients who have a life-limiting condition. However, you can get assistance if the condition is life-limiting even if the patient may live longer. If you have space at home, you can consider setting up a hospice at home and hiring a caregiver instead of taking your loved one to a nursing home.

The level of support you give your terminally ill family member plays a part in managing their condition, making them comfortable, extending their life, and managing pain. Determine the condition that the patient suffers from and seek assistance from social workers and doctors on the best ways to take care of your patient. If the patient is at home, keep in close contact with your hospital team for monitoring and emergency care.