Dying Elderly Care
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When an elderly parent or relative is dying, it is not easy to take of the person. However, if a person takes time to understand what might happen when a person is going to die and what he or she can do make the person comfortable during those last stages of life can be extremely helpful. Dying elderly care is definitely not easy, no matter what someone tells you.
The elderly may inform you about where they would like to have their end of life care. This could be at home surrounded by their loved ones, or in a hospital where doctors would resort to palliative care if necessary. The preference should be given to what the elderly person wants and not what is easy for you. If necessary, take help of other people to discuss the matter and arrive at the best possible option.
Many elderly people often turn towards spirituality when they are reaching end of life. If this happens with your loved one, allow them to speak about it. If the elderly person wants to speak to a spiritual leader, do not object to it. Let the person speak about his/her beliefs as much as possible.
In addition, the elderly person would also want to say his/her final goodbye to other family members and close friends. Allow the person to meet whomever he/she wants, as it will allow them to share their feelings, ask for forgiveness, say thank you or say a final goodbye. This will be a special time for the people who the elderly wants to goodbye to.
Remember, dying elderly care is not easy on the emotions. The process of dying begins a few days before the actual demise. You will get several warning signs. The elderly will stop eating and drinking a few days before the end is near. In such a case, make sure that you keep the person’s lips and mouth moist with the help of a sponge. You can even use ice cubes.
If the person is finding it difficult to breathe, turn his/her head to one side. Try using a humidifier or oxygen to relieve breathing. Consult a doctor to find out what steps you can take help the patient breathe more easily.
Usually, a dying elderly will also suffer from incontinence. In such a case, it is best to use a catheter to empty out the bladder or use adult diapers to keep the person clean and dry.
If the person is unable to speak or appears agitated, calm the person by speaking in soothing and soft voice. Hold the person’s hand to reassure him/her that you are there for them.
Many times, just before end of life, the person can appear revitalized and energized. Do not let this fool you. Instead use this time constructively to spend time with the elderly and it may be a good opportunity to say the final goodbye.
If there are family members close by, keeping a vigil, use their help when you need a break. Speak to the elderly person as much as you want to and make sure you also tell him/her how much you love them and will miss them once they are no longer with you. However, instead of making the person feel guilty about dying, inform him or her that it is perfectly alright to let go.
Although it may seem difficult, it is best to keep calm when caring for a dying elderly. Do not let grief overcome you. If necessary, speak to someone else about your feelings, so that you emotions do not get the better of you. And, when the time comes, let the dying elderly person go without holding on.
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