Planning Ahead for the Terminally Ill
When a loved one is terminally ill, you may feel overwhelmed with emotions. You may spend a lot of time talking to doctors about potential treatment options, and you may try to pack everything you can into those remaining days. It can be a busy and stressful time, as well as a sad one.
Though you may not want to think of it now, you need to start looking ahead to plan for things like caring for your loved one and making their final arrangements. If you don’t deal with these things now, you may find yourself overwhelmed later. Here are a few things you can do now to help you plan ahead for your terminally ill loved one:
Accept the Reality
It can be hard to accept that your loved one really is facing the end of life. You may struggle to believe that there really is nothing else that our advanced, modern medicine can do to save your loved one. Or you may hold onto the belief that a miracle could still happen.
While none of us want our loved ones to pass, it is important that you accept the reality when the doctor tells you that the illness is terminal. The sooner you can accept that, the sooner you can move forward in making the arrangements to give your loved one the best care possible.
Focus on the Patient’s Needs
Your loved one may not be able to get curative medical treatment, but they can get care that will improve the quality of their remaining days.
Hospice care focuses on improving the quality of life for terminally ill patients. That can include pain management, mobility assistance, cleaning and personal care, and much more.
You can get hospice care in a facility if it’s necessary, or you can get it right in your own home or your loved one’s home. The focus of hospice care is to make the patient as comfortable as possible, as well as to tend to their spiritual and mental health. Hospice care can provide spiritual counseling and mental health counseling for the patient and the family.
Pre-Plan Final Arrangements
Since you and your loved one both know that the end is near, you have the opportunity to talk meaningfully with your loved one about what kind of final arrangements they would like. If they’re up for it, they can plan the entire affair down to the last detail, including what songs might be played or what flowers might be displayed.
Talk through your loved one’s wishes about how they would like to be laid to rest or otherwise interred or memorialized. Become as detailed as is comfortable for your loved one, but don’t push. Also discuss other final arrangements, such as finances, the distribution of mementos, and so on.
Allow your loved one the opportunity to have the ultimate control of their life, including how they end it and what kind of legacy they leave behind.
Death is sad, and it makes us uncomfortable. But knowing that your loved one is going to die is actually an opportunity that most people don’t get. It allows you to make more meaningful use of those remaining days, to ensure that your loved one has the best quality of life possible, and to empower your loved one to plan their own final goodbye. Work with a good hospice care provider in Mesa to help you through these final days, whether they be actual days or months. You’ll get the support and guidance you need, and your loved one will get the care they need to live their best life in their final days.
Americare Hospice and Palliative Care is ready to help you and your family through the remaining days of your loved one’s life. We offer in-home hospice care throughout the Mesa area, and we provide ongoing support for both patients and their families. Not only do we provide medication and pain management, but we do everything we can to improve our patients’ quality of life so they can die with dignity and as little pain as possible. We offer spiritual and grief counseling for the whole family, as well. Call us in Mesa today to learn more about our hospice services.