That time at the very end of your family member’s life is a difficult space. You’re experiencing emotions and responses that are painful. Hospice care teams can make that time easier for you and for your family member. They can also help you remember to take better care of yourself.
Rest When You Can
Near the end of your family member’s life, sleep may be sporadic for her. What you might not realize is that it can be equally sporadic for you. You may want to be with her as much as possible, which means that you might be spending a lot of time watching her sleep. Take a cue from your family member and rest when she does. This can help you to be awake and aware when she is, too.
Allow Hospice Care Providers to Help
Hospice care providers have been in this situation before. They can help you to determine what your family member needs, what you need, and to give you practical assistance on a daily basis. It’s not selfish to rely on their help during this difficult time. Let them do what they can to support you and your family member.
Give Yourself Breaks When Possible
In addition to rest, you also need to take breaks whenever possible. It’s emotionally trying to see your family member dealing with end-of-life issues and you don’t want to show that emotion to her. Take time away so that you can express what you’re feeling. Then you can pull yourself back together and head back to her.
Consider Bereavement Counseling Now
The reality of losing someone that you love is that you start to lose that person before she’s actually gone. Hospice care providers can help you to locate bereavement counseling that you can start to investigate now. This can help you to manage the complicated feelings you’re experiencing before your family member has passed away.
Make Sure that You’re Eating and Taking Fluids, Too
Because you’re spending so much time with your family member, you might be forgetting that you need to eat and to drink, too. Without this fuel, you’re putting yourself into an uncomfortable situation that you can’t sustain for long. Remember to eat and to drink, even if you don’t feel like it at the time.
Your life is definitely changing as your family member is edging closer to the end of her life. But if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to give her the support that she needs when she needs it the most.