Supporting a Terminally Ill Loved One

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Caring for a terminally ill loved one may be the hardest task you ever take on. Not only do you have to handle your own emotions, but you have to stay strong and supportive of your elderly relative’s emotional needs. Here are some tips from leading Caledon home care experts to help make the situation a little easier.

1. Make sure your loved one’s directives are in order.

Many terminally ill seniors worry about what will happen once they are gone or no longer lucid enough to make decisions. For this reason, it is important to put together directives such as a living will, appoint a health care proxy or power of attorney, and if necessary, a do-not-resuscitate order. Check with state laws, other family members, and your loved one’s doctors to make sure you have everything in order. It may be a difficult conversation to have, but the earlier it’s done, the better off everyone will be.

2. Take occasional breaks.

You may think you can do it all, but both you and your loved one will benefit from you taking the occasional break from around-the-clock care. Hire Caledon respite care for a few hours each week so you can go for a walk, run errands, or spend time with your significant other. This will help you gain some perspective and prevent you from becoming fatigued and taking out your frustrations on your loved one.

3. Communicate with your patient about pain and comfort.

When medical treatments can no longer help your loved one, the most important thing you can do for him or her is make sure they are comfortable and not in any type of pain. Your loved one may not want to be a burden, so he or she might not mention when something hurts or when pain medication stops working. Ask regularly what your loved one needs to be comfortable, and never hesitate to contact the doctor if more or different medication is needed.

4. Be patient.

Your loved one may have a hard time coping with his or her situation and may take it out on you. This can be difficult to endure, but be patient and do not take it personally. Offer an ear to listen, but do not push your loved one to talk if he or she does not want to. Also, remember that this person may be losing his or her independence, and they may not be ready to let you take over completely. Avoid telling your loved one that you always know what is best or constantly telling them what to do.

5. Never be afraid to seek help.

Whether you need a shoulder to cry on, a professional to talk to, or even financial help, reach out to the people around you. By caring for your loved one at this difficult time, you are making a very selfless decision. However, if it gets to be too much, you can’t provide the best possible care. Take care of yourself, too.

As your loved one’s condition progresses, his or her care needs might become more than you can handle on your own, and you don’t have to. Home Care Assistance can help. Our compassionate and experienced caregivers in Caledon can maximize your loved one’s safety and comfort while assisting with other activities like grocery shopping, light housekeeping, and picking up prescriptions.  To learn more, call 905-951-8885 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.