END OF LIFE CARE
While we cannot change the fact that our loved one will die, we can provide compassionate care to ease their end of life journey. Generally speaking, people who are dying need care in four areas—physical comfort, mental and emotional needs, spiritual issues, and practical tasks. At The Manor, every effort is made to provide comfort to your loved one and support to you and your extended family during this time. At The Manor, we hope to make this often unfamiliar territory more comfortable for all who are involved.
There are ways to make a person who is dying more comfortable. Discomfort can come from a variety of problems. For each there are things you or a health care provider can do, depending on the cause. For example, a dying person can be uncomfortable because of:
Mental and Emotional Needs
Complete end-of-life care also includes helping the dying person manage any mental and emotional distress. Someone nearing the end of life who is alert might understandably feel depressed or anxious. Encouraging conversations about feelings might be beneficial. You might want to contact a counselor, possibly one familiar with end-of-life issues. If the depression or anxiety is severe, medicine might provide relief.
People nearing the end of life may have spiritual needs as compelling as their physical concerns. Spiritual needs involve finding meaning in one’s life and ending disagreements with others, if possible. The dying person might find peace by resolving unsettled issues with friends or family. Visits from a social worker or a counselor may also help. Many people find solace in their faith. Praying, talking with someone from one’s religious community (such as a minister, priest, rabbi, or Muslim cleric), reading religious text, or listening to religious music may bring comfort.
If you are the primary caregiver, try to ask for help when you need it. Don’t hesitate to suggest a specific task to someone who offers to help. Friends and family are probably anxious to do something for you and/or the person who is dying, but they may be reluctant to repeatedly offer when you are so busy.
Here are additional helpful resources:
Vermont Start the Conversation