For Better, For Worse: Three Ways You Can Help a Loved One Who’s Terminally Ill

Terminally-ill patients, as well as people who experience end-stage organ failures, need special medical care and stronger emotional support. Now more than ever, your loved one needs you by his or her side to help quell the fear, anxiety, pain, and many other negative emotions associated with a terminal illness.

Granted, it’s a tall order to comfort people who are nearing the end of their lives. It’s emotionally taxing and drains the energy out of you. Your loved one, however, will surely be grateful for your presence during this part of his or her life. So, here are a few ways you can provide better care to your loved one.

Provide Emotional Support

A terminal illness is certainly difficult to cope with. Competent palliative care in Indiana will help your loved one live comfortably, but he or she still needs your emotional support all throughout the management of the disease. You can assure them during times when they doubt their ability to handle intensive treatment.

You’re also there to answer his or her questions. Misguided thoughts or misconceptions could run in your loved one’s mind which do nothing to alleviate his or her condition. If these questions aren’t addressed, your loved one could develop grief, which could lead to depression.

Watching the health of a family member slowly deteriorate is never easy, especially if you think there’s nothing much you can do. You, however, are in the ideal position to provide strong emotional support to your loved one. And, if you yourself think you can’t handle the situation on your own, you’re free to seek professional help, too. This will help you provide better care for the patient.

Administer Physical Care

Senior with nurse and doctor

Terminal illnesses bring pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting, insomnia, shortness of breath, and all kinds of symptoms. It’s not surprising, therefore, that some patients give up trying to manage the symptoms — the illness seems as if it’s too much to bear.

Having a support system to rely on when one’s strength and hope is gone is crucial. You become the lifeline, and it’s up to you to convince your loved one to continue taking treatment and medications. Explain to him or her that all these efforts will make him or her more comfortable and live a better quality of life.

Arrange Social Support

Tending to a patient ailing from a terminal illness consumes a lot of time and energy. Caregivers, like you, go to great lengths to offer their support. Some put in extra hours at work, while relatives resign from their jobs to provide full-time care.

If you’re one of these people, make sure you surround yourself with fellow caregivers who understand your situation. Sometimes, simply talking about your experience in taking care of a loved one relieves the pain and stress. There’s comfort to be found in knowing you’re not the only one experiencing trying times.

Palliative care provides a much-needed solace for patients and their families. It improves the patient’s quality of life and reduces emergency visits, thanks to competent caregivers. By following the three methods mentioned above, you can provide even better care to your loved one.