When a loved one is diagnosed with a serious or even terminal illness, it can be an extremely challenging time emotionally, mentally, and physically for all involved. Grief can impact different people in different ways, and end of life conversations and decisions can be difficult to face.
PrimRose can help alleviate stress and provide comfort and support throughout the process. Here are just a few tips for facing terminal illness whether for yourself or for a loved one.
Dealing With Terminal Illness And Anticipatory Grief
The news that either you or your loved one has a terminal illness can trigger a variety of different responses and emotions. Your instinct may be to deny the news at first, cry, or immediately take action. No matter your response, remember there’s no “normal” way to cope with this type of news, and allow yourself to feel, react, and process.
You’ve likely pursued treatments that may or may not be working, and if the illness has become terminal, you see the end of life drawing near. Emotional support is needed more than ever during this time as fears and worries surface. You may also need assistance and support to arrange the practical details like hospice care, financial or legal planning, and funeral arrangements.
For these and other reasons, anticipatory grief—or grieving for the sick individual and/or their loved ones before the actual loss—is a common response. This may lead you to want to get the most out of the time you have left with your loved one, or perhaps push them away prematurely. It’s important to remember that all of these feelings are normal.
You may find comfort in talking with friends or family members, connecting with a support group, or utilizing the help of bereavement services. These can all help you express your love and appreciation so you feel ready to let go when that time comes.
Having Difficult Conversations
Talking about death is one of the most difficult things for many families to do. Some may feel like talking about the end shows they’ve lost hope or stopped fighting, or they may not know how best to approach the topic with their loved one. Thankfully, professional hospice providers and bereavement specialists can help guide you through these challenging conversations.
At the end of life, different individuals have different needs. Some are afraid and seek comfort, empathy, and reassurance, some just want a friend to talk to, and some may want a distraction from all that’s happening.
It can be difficult to know what to say. But what matters most is to let the individual know you’re open and you’re there. Try asking questions like, what do you worry about? Is there anything on your mind you’d like to talk about? Or, how can I best help you? Hospice care providers can assist you with these sensitive conversations, too.
Practical Details To Consider
Although difficult, it’s also important to consider practical matters like a living will, health care power of attorney, and funeral arrangements. While it can be hard to consider these details and discuss it with your loved one, keep in mind that planning in advance can help bring the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved one’s concerns and wishes are respected and carried out.
Hospice Care In Northern Utah
End-of-life care can help make sure the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of both terminally ill individuals and their loved ones are met. The purpose of hospice care is to offer pain control, support, and relief during the last months an ill individual and their loved ones have to spend together.
PrimRose Home Care & Hospice works with the patient and their family to develop a specialized plan of care in a familiar environment to make this time of life as peaceful and comfortable as possible.