It’s troubling to have been with your senior on this journey and be reaching the end of her life and feel as if you don’t know what to do for her. Finding the right ways to support her during this stage of life doesn’t have to be as difficult or as solitary as it feels.
Talk to Her about What She Wants Now
If your senior is still able to talk about what’s going on, sit down and have a talk with her. Find out what she wants from the rest of her life. It’s never too early to have this conversation, but often family members are reluctant to bring this topic up. Your elderly family member may have thought about this much more than you realize and she needs to know that you’re okay with having this conversation with her.
Talk to Her Doctor about How Realistic Her Wants Are
Once you know what your senior wants and what you’ve observed, it’s time to talk with her doctor. Her doctor can help you to sort through all of the options available and determine which ones fit best with what she wants. If the types of care that she wants are feasible, you can get started with putting those pieces into place for her.
Keep Her Surroundings Calm
An erratic, loud, and chaotic environment typically doesn’t do anyone any good. It’s far less helpful for an aging family member who is nearing the end of her life. Do what you can to adjust your senior’s surroundings so that they’re calm and peaceful. You can do that with lighting, with music, and with bedding that’s comfortable and soothing.
Monitor and Adjust
Once you’ve got plans in place, you may need to make some changes here and there. Monitor how well the situation is working for your senior and adjust what you can whenever you can. Hospice care providers can help you to keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t. They can also help you to find adjustments that correct those situations so that your senior is having the experience that she wants to have.
You don’t have to go through this alone, even though it feels as if you are. Talk to the people around you and let people like hospice care providers know how they can support you as well as your aging adult during this difficult time.