Six Ways to Provide Comfort for People at the End of Life

Hospice Elder Care in Maryville CA

Hospice Elder Care in Maryville CA

People who are near the end of their lives are often uncomfortable. There might be a great deal of pain, or they may have other issues, like difficulty moving their bodies or trouble breathing. Hospice elder care can help with a lot of these issues, but family caregivers may feel out of their depth and still want to help. There are still plenty of ways to help a beloved family member who is near the end of life.

Look for Ways to Keep Activities Simple

People who are near the end of life are using up a lot of energy with every single thing they do. It’s important to keep activities as simple as possible. Instead of trekking all the way to the bathroom, consider a bedside commode. Swap showers for sponge baths in bed. Look for ways to help that person to conserve their energy as much as possible.

Try a Variety of Solutions for Labored Breathing

Breathing may become more labored, or the person may have more shortness of breath as they near death. There are lots of ways to help with this. Adjusting the angle of their head or using pillows to prop the person’s head and shoulders can be a huge help. It can also help to get more air circulating in the room. Opening a window or turning on a fan can be enough.

Help with Feeding

Often people who are near the end of life aren’t hungry in the same ways that they were before, but they may still be willing to eat. Offering them foods that they love in small quantities can help them to feel connected still, even if they’re not getting many nutrients from the food. Helping them to eat is a way to maintain a connection and to continue to offer them assistance.

Pay Attention to Skin Sensitivities and Dryness

Another common issue at the end of life is dry or sensitive skin. It can help to use fragrance-free lotion designed for sensitive skin. Lip balm is also a good idea to help make dry lips feel more comfortable. These small tasks can help family caregivers to feel more connected to their family members, too.

Keep Options on Hand for Temperature Regulation

Seniors at the end of life often have a very difficult time regulating temperature throughout their bodies. They may be too hot or too cold, and that can flip throughout the day. Worse, they may not be able to communicate to anyone how they’re feeling. Keeping extra blankets on hand is a good idea. Watch for nonverbal signs that someone is uncomfortable, like repeatedly trying to remove a blanket. Feel the person’s hands and feet periodically to see if they feel cold to the touch.

Stay Calm and Let Hospice Elder Care Providers Handle the Big Stuff

Confusion and agitation are common at the end of life, especially if someone is taking a lot of pain medication. It’s important that everyone around the person who is nearing the end of life stays as calm as possible. Remaining as reassuring as possible helps to convey feelings of calm back to the person who is dying and can help them to stay calm, too. Let hospice elder care providers take care of the medical needs, and just focus on what can be done to offer comfort in that moment.

Losing a family member is never easy, but it can help to feel useful while someone is passing away. Hospice elder care providers can help family members to know what to do and how best to offer comfort.

If you are considering hospice elder care in Maryville, CA, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at PIC Comfort Care today. Call (530) 885-9948.

Shaun Clinkinbeard
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