How to Support a Terminally Ill Loved One

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A senior loved one’s terminal diagnosis is undoubtedly one of the hardest things your family must face. As difficult and emotional of a time as this will be for you, your siblings, and relatives, you must provide your loved one with unwavering support so he or she can enjoy feelings of safety and comfort. Our North Houston palliative caregivers share some of the best ways you can be there for your loved one during this difficult time.

Emotional Support

A loved one may or may not want to talk, and you may not know what to say that will help them, but we always encourage families to do their best to smile and keep a positive face on for their loved ones. The simple act of smiling has been shown to:

  • Release pain-killing chemicals by the brain, called endorphins
  • Strengthen their immune system by producing white blood cells
  • Relieve stress by reducing the steroid hormone cortisol
  • Promote calmness and relaxation

You can help your loved one smile by asking them to recall fond memories, watching a funny movie or television program together, looking through family photos, or having the grandchildren share funny jokes. Even if you’re not directly talking about your loved one’s condition, you can provide emotional support by bringing a smile to his or her face.

Spiritual Support

Spiritual leaders can offer great comfort. Chaplains and rabbis are available in hospitals and hospices and can even come to the home if your loved one is receiving in-home care in North Houston during his or her final days. They can visit a patient to pray, discuss end-of-life concerns, perform religious rites, and provide reassurance. Pastoral care volunteers may be available to provide music, guided meditation, scripture reading, and family support.

Physical Support

Of course, it will be of the utmost importance to ensure your loved one is comfortable despite his or her illness. Since many seniors would prefer to enjoy the comforts of their own home in the final days, hospice support or palliative care is often the preferred choice for families. Trained and compassionate caregivers can assist your loved one with his or her daily activities, and can also provide companionship and emotional support, as well as support for your family.

To learn more about end-of-life care, call (832) 412-1345 and speak with a friendly Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of North Houston. We provide North Houston hourly care as well as live-in care and can provide seniors and their families with the invaluable support needed during this difficult time. Reach out to us today, we’re here to help.