Cancer is incredibly trying for your senior and for you as her caregiver. Near the end of her life, your senior may need your support in different ways than she’s needed it in the past.
Talk to Your Senior about What She Wants
If you and your senior haven’t talked already about her wishes, it’s better to do so as soon as possible. This can be an incredibly difficult conversation but it’s one that you need to have. It’s even better if you can convince her to allow you to help her to create advance directives, a will, and other written instructions if she hasn’t already done so.
Ask Her What You Can Do for Her
Besides narrowing down her wishes for the future, talk to your senior about what you can do for her now. There may be some requests that she has been holding off on talking to you about because she didn’t want to impose or to be a burden. When you open the way for her to talk about those requests, she can feel more comfortable.
Follow Her Lead as Much as Possible
Some days are going to be a lot better than others. There might be some good days when she wants to talk about her life, talk about topics she’s passionate about, or do other things together. And on low-energy days, your senior may need a lot more rest. Do what you can to honor that ebb and flow.
Keep Her Involved in Decisions and Discussions
It’s tough enough for your senior to be going through what she’s facing. But if she starts to feel as if you’re limiting or withholding information, that can make her feel even worse. Unless your senior specifically tells you that she doesn’t want to know about certain issues, keep her informed and involved.
Look to Hospice Team Members for Support
Hospice elder care providers can help you to find the resources that you need in order to solve problems as they arise. They can also help you with practical care matters, which can become a big issue for your senior as she nears the end of her life. Don’t forget to take some time away for yourself, too, because this situation is emotionally trying all the way around.
Your senior is going through so much right now, both physically and emotionally. Knowing that you don’t regard her as a burden and that you’re trying to do everything that you can for her can be an incredible comfort.