What Signs Should You Look for at the End of Your Senior’s Life?

March 15, 2018

Toward the end of your aging family member’s life, there are certain signals that can let you know that your senior is moving even closer to that point. Helping her to remain comfortable is easier if you know what to look for and what those signs might mean.


Decreased Appetite

As your aging adult nears the end of her life, she may begin to experience a significant decrease in her appetite. This can happen because her body doesn’t need the same amount of caloric intake that she has needed in the past. She’s also less active, so her body isn’t demanding the same things that it was before. If it’s difficult for your elderly family member to eat, she may find that it requires too much effort. Alternatives to eating may be an option, depending on your senior’s prognosis.


Shortness of Breath

Your elderly family member may be shorter of breath due to health conditions or simply because she’s uncomfortable. Lying down for longer periods of time or in certain positions can make it difficult for your senior to breathe as deeply as she might need to. Your senior may also be shorter of breath due to pain or as a side effect of medications. Talk with her doctor about what you can do to help.



Many of the medications or treatments that your senior is taking at the end of her life may cause quite a few different types of complications, including constipation. Your senior’s decreased activity and possibly a decrease in the amount and types of foods that she is eating can also contribute greatly to constipation. There are solutions that can help your senior to avoid the pain of constipation, though, so be sure to talk with her care team about the situation.


Increasing or Changing Pain

Depending on your senior’s unique situation, she may have experienced pain for quite some time as a chronic condition. At the end of her life, though, her pain can change and become worse or move to other parts of her body. Part of the plan for caring for her at the end of her life definitely involves finding ways to manage her pain appropriately.

To help both you and your elderly family member to manage this complicated time, consider bringing in experienced end-of-life care providers. They can help you to meet your senior’s needs as they adapt and change.


If you or a loved-one have questions about Elder Care in Gallaway, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice. Call today, we can help:  (609)-227-2400


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