Though facing the loss of an elderly loved one can be difficult, it’s important to focus on his or her needs and create an environment filled with love and comfort. Here are a few things you can do to make the last days or weeks easier for both you and your loved one.
Offer Physical Comfort
Your loved one may not be able to communicate well at the end of life. Talk to your loved one’s physician to help decide how to provide physical comfort. For instance, your loved one may have an IV to reduce pain, but you can also provide warm blankets or other seemingly minor things to ensure he or she is comfortable. Your loved one may not feel like eating or drinking, which is normal. Focus on what you can do based on his or her wishes instead of on what you think needs to be done.
Provide Emotional Support
Spend time holding your loved one’s hand and talking to him or her. Even if your loved one can’t talk, he or she may be able to hear you. Tell your loved one that he or she can let go when ready and offer reassurance that he or she doesn’t need to worry about leaving you or other family members behind. It is okay to feel sad, cry, and talk about your feelings with your loved one.
Address Final Wishes
If possible, organize your loved one’s documents, such as a living will, and make decisions for home care, Anchorage families can count on, and other preparations based on those documents. For example, some people prefer to avoid medical interventions at the end of life. If your loved one can communicate, talk to him or her about any final wishes, and listen to anything else he or she has to say. Often, loved ones find the most comfort in simply talking and enjoying the presence of friends and family.
Help is essential when you are providing end of life care for a loved one. Talk to your church leader for emotional and spiritual support, and consider hiring an in-home caregiver in Anchorage to assist you with basic care for your loved one. Your loved one’s physician or a local hospice can provide more information on what to expect and how to manage care for your loved one during his or her final days or weeks.
Preparing for a loved one’s passing is never easy, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a wide range of services that can help offset the challenges families face during this difficult time. Our hourly and live-in caregivers in Anchorage can help with basic daily tasks like bathing and grooming, light housekeeping, and meal prep, allowing you the chance to focus on providing a caring and comfortable environment for your loved one. For more information, call a compassionate Care Manager at (907) 770-0907 today.