There’s really no right or wrong way to keep vigil for your senior at the end of her life. In the simplest of terms, you’re there for the person you love in the last hours or days of life. There are a lot of ways for you to do that.
Promote Peace in Her Immediate Surroundings
Peace has a different definition for everyone who seeks it, of course. Your senior might need a quiet atmosphere or one in which the light is less bright. Or peace for her might mean that plenty of friends and family are able to stop by and drift in and out as their schedules allow. Try to determine what a peaceful atmosphere would be for your senior.
Keep Fresh Air Circulating
Stale are can be uncomfortable for you and for your senior. Cracking the window or running a small fan can get the air to move a little bit and therefore keep the room feeling fresher. A ceiling fan can work just as well as a small oscillating fan, but it’s important to make sure that you’re not making the room too cold.
Help Manage Discomfort and Pain
One of your senior’s biggest concerns might be pain and discomfort. These issues can arise for a variety of different reasons, so you might need to be creative about the solutions you choose. Hospice elder care providers have a variety of different options they can help you to try and they can work with your senior’s doctor to make sure that she’s got the best solutions from both a medical and a holistic perspective.
Just Being Is Often Enough
Something to remember, though, is that vigils don’t have to involve any one specific activity. Being there and letting your senior know through small experiences and actions that you’re there is what’s really important. So, take the time to talk to her about your day or read to her. Hearing your voice can be incredibly calming for her, especially if she’s frequently exhausted and sliding in and out of consciousness.
Remember to Care for Yourself, Too
One really important factor in sitting vigil is that you need to be taking care of yourself. This is an emotionally draining time and you need to be taking breaks, eating regularly, and getting some sleep. If you’re not doing these things, it’s going to be that much more difficult for you to do what you want to do for your senior.
Keeping a vigil for your elderly family member may mean something completely different than it would for someone else. Definitions aren’t as important as your elderly family member’s quality of life and overall happiness, so don’t get bogged down in whether you’re doing anything correctly or not.