You might find that you’re in a situation in which you’re trying to figure out on your own how to help your senior through the final stages of her life. You may have wanted to talk about it, but it never seemed like the right time. There are still some things you can do.
Think about What She’s Said Concerning Help for Other People
There’s a good possibility that your senior has mentioned some of her opinions about end-of-life treatment and care at some point. Those observations were probably about someone else, maybe a family member or a close friend. Your senior might have made a general comment or two that could help you now to plan out what she might want.
Consider Her Values
Your senior’s values and what she saw as important in her life can help you to determine what sorts of care and treatments she would want now. It’s not always easy to remember details, but you can remember overall impressions and feelings. Those can be important tools as you make these difficult decisions.
Refer Back to Conversations You’ve Had
If you did have some conversations about these sorts of concerns, can you remember what was said? It’s possible that you might have notes that you don’t remember, possibly tucked away in a diary or even in a calendar or planner. Sometimes those conversations don’t seem important at the time, but when your senior nears the end of her life you realize just how important they were.
Focus on Comfort
When you’re unable to decide what your senior would want in detail, it can be better to focus on what keeps her comfortable. Overall comfort can take care of a lot of the other concerns you might be worried about and hospice care providers can help. Hospice care can work with your senior’s doctors and you to find the techniques and tools that work best for your senior’s situation.
Remember to Factor in Current Treatment Issues
If there’s already a treatment plan in progress, that needs to be factored into whatever other plans you put in motion, whether they’re planning your senior and you talked about in advance or not. These treatment plans are likely to mesh with what you’re planning to do, though, especially if you’re already working with hospice care providers.
It’s really difficult to be a caregiver at this stage of your senior’s life and feel as if you just don’t know what she would want. There are ways to figure it out or, at the very least, to do the best that you can with the information that you do have.