Caring for a terminally ill loved one can be a very challenging endeavor. With the right resources and outlook, however, caregivers can recognize these times as valuable opportunities to cherish their family members and make positive memories. Following are five strategies for ensuring everyone is as comfortable as possible.
1. Live in the Moment
People are conditioned to plan ahead and to look forward to better and more comfortable times. When caring for a person who is terminally ill, however, it is vital to appreciate every good moment as it occurs. Between pain, medication and other challenges, good moments can be fleeting and sometimes few and far between. Make sure that you take the time to appreciate them even if this means breaking from your scheduled routine.
2. Get Help
Caring for a loved one and spending quality time with this person are not necessarily the same thing. Make sure you are never too burned out by your caregiver duties to truly appreciate the moments that you have with your loved one. Seeking assistance from family, friends or a Toronto home care agency are all great ways to limit your stress and to free up more time for actively enjoying your loved one.
3. Focus on Acceptance
Accepting a terminal diagnosis or recognizing there is nothing more that can be done is often difficult for both seniors and their family members. Take some time to reflect on this development and to focus on reaching a state of acceptance. This will limit feelings of fear, frustration, anger and depression. It will also give you a much better ability to focus on what is happening right now.
4. Give Your Family Member Time to Talk
People often discourage family members from talking about death and other sad developments simply because they are not ready to face the reality of these things themselves. This is one of the many reasons why reaching a state of acceptance is so vital for caregivers. You should encourage your loved one to talk about his or her emotions. This is likely a stressful and confusing time for this person as well. If necessary, discuss the possibility of grief counseling or other forms of therapy. Having a safe environment in which to vent feelings of stress and frustration can benefit the senior’s physical and mental health.
5. Stay Hopeful
Although acceptance is vital, it is still good to maintain a positive and hopeful outlook. You can seek second opinions, recommend alternative treatments and take other, reasonable steps to bolster and improve your loved one’s wellbeing. These efforts could improve the comfort and quality of life for your loved one significantly.
If you need help managing your loved one’s end-of-life care needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer hourly and live-in care, as well as specialized dementia, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care in Toronto. With a compassionate and experienced caregiver in the home, you can take time to yourself and know your loved one is provided maximum safety and comfort. Call a trusted Care Manager at (416) 488-8777 to learn more about our care services.