Receiving the news that a loved one has a terminal illness is never easy. You are likely to deal with complex emotions, as will your loved one. While their human nature gives them a desire to live, they should also understand the importance of coming to terms with the diagnosis during the end of life. Needless to say, these are strong emotions that cannot be dealt with alone.
There are certain things that family members, friends and other loved ones can do to improve the quality of life after someone they love finds out they are dying. Helping them through the end of life can ensure their time left is pleasant, comfortable and filled with love.
Top 5 Ways to Help Loved Ones During End of Life
If you have a loved one that is nearing the end of their life due to a terminal illness, then it is important to let them know that you are there with them to help with any needs they may have. It is also helpful to learn about ways to help them come to terms with reality and enjoy the moments they have left. The following are useful ways to help a loved one during end of life treatment.
Helping Them Acknowledge Their Situation
One of the hardest steps to take after receiving a terminal diagnosis is coming to terms with the situation. It is human nature to resist reality, but the patient cannot move on and enjoy the time they have left until they acknowledge the situation.
Before helping a loved one acknowledge that they are nearing the end of life, it is first important for their loved ones to do so. Just as it is hard for the patient to acknowledge the situation, it is difficult for loved ones as well. However, coming to terms and accepting it is important.
It is then helpful to have a delicate yet productive conversation about death with your loved one who received the diagnosis. By doing so, they can accept death and enjoy the time they have left with their friends and family.
Understanding the Meaning of Life
The meaning of life is never more real than after receiving a terminal diagnosis. Those who find out they are dying naturally reflect back on their life and think about all that they have accomplished and were not yet able to accomplish.
During times like these, having a conversation about the meaning of life is helpful. This may include a reflection of the person’s life and reminiscing about memories, having in-depth discussions about religion and prayer and looking forward to what can still be accomplished and the impact and legacy the person can still leave with the time that they have left.
Comfort Them When Reacting to Their Illness
The primary role of loved ones after someone they care for is diagnosed with a terminal illness is to provide comfort. When they are reacting to their illness, the most important thing is to be there for them and help them in any way possible.
Their reactions are not always pleasant or even healthy, but it is important to always offer comfort rather than criticism. This lets them know that they are not alone and you are on their side at all times. They will experience complex emotions, and it is important to comfort them through the good and bad moments alike.
Show Them How Many People Care About Them
There are many complex feelings people experience once they find out they are dying. Among the worst may include loneliness, a feeling of being a burden and depression. Loved ones can help with these emotions by letting them know how many people are there with them and love them.
Be sure to show how much you care for them by telling them you love them and asking about their needs. By being there for them and showing them you truly care, it becomes easier to deal with negative emotions.
Take Care of Yourself During This Time
It is hard to help a loved one come to terms with the realities of death if you have not been able to do so first. To ensure you can give the most adequate care and support for your loved one as they approach the end of life, you must take care of yourself as well. This may include counseling of your own, discussions with loved ones and ensuring you get plenty of rest. This way, you are in a better position to meet the needs of the one you love who is dealing with the end of life.
Speak to an Experienced Hospice Care Agency
Harbor Light Hospice helps individuals who are nearing the end of life. We aim to make the quality of life as pleasant and enjoyable as possible for those who are terminally ill and their loved ones. Feel free to reach out today for more information.