How to Help Your Loved One with End-of-Life Signs

Old woman talking to her doctorReceiving the news about the terminal illness of a loved one is difficult to bear, much less accept. However, knowing what to expect in their last days can help you keep your emotions in check and provide better care for your loved one. Here are symptoms your relative may experience when death is near:

Reduced appetite

The body requires less energy as terminally ill patients become less physically active. The natural tendency is to eat and drink less as their appetite decreases. Your loved one may completely stop consuming food or fluids days before death.

While this may be a typical cause of worry to some, Indiana hospice care expert Hospice of the Calumet Area explains that the body chemistry of patients in hospice care changes during this end-of-life phase, with the brain releasing endorphins, prompting feelings of euphoria and reduced pain. Hence, just let your loved one eat when they ask for food. Give them ice pops or cubes to make themselves hydrated. Ask around for hospice home care that experts offer. This will help you provide the care your loved one needs.

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Frequent sleep

Usually, three months before death, terminally ill patients start sleeping more than the usual. This is because their metabolism is growing weaker and weaker. Without enough energy, the body gets tired, prompting the need for rest.

Let your loved one take that rest, but encourage them to move now and then to avoid bed sores. Additionally, members of the family who frequently go to the patient’s home must all make an effort in keeping a quiet, comfortable environment conducive to good sleep for the terminally ill loved one.

Isolation from people

As mentioned, the energy level of your relative goes down as death approaches. This will eventually make them less social, and they would want to spend less time with you. Others also avoid family because they don’t want you to see their struggle.

Hence, it’s not true that your relative feels that you don’t matter to them anymore or that they don’t enjoy your company. Don’t take it against them. It’s just the natural progression of things, given their condition. What you can do for them is to be there whenever they need you and give them space when they want to be alone.

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Seeing a loved one succumb to death is painful. Even if you know what to expect, it still hurts. Make it a priority to reach out to a grief support network. Such a community will help you in this life struggle.

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