Long illnesses take a toll on your aging family member, but when her condition is also terminal that can take a lot out of family members. The grieving process extends well into the end of her life and that can be difficult for everyone in the family to manage well.
Every Family Member Has a Place
Every family member has their place and knowing that your elderly family member is nearing the end of her life can throw everyone off. No matter how long your senior has been ill or has known that this time is coming, this can still be upsetting. There’s a void that will be left and that’s not easy, or sometimes possible at all, to fill. Making the most of her remaining time is essential.
Long Illnesses Can Affect Grieving
The longer that your elderly family member is ill can affect her grieving as well as the grieving that other family members go through. Many people don’t know how to cope with long-term grieving and that can exacerbate that sense of loss. Everyone deals with loss in different ways, too, which may leave you as the family caregiver, trying to balance all of those needs yourself.
Be Gentle with Each Other
One of the best things that you and other family members can do for each other is to be gentle with each other as much as possible. Ignoring what is going on doesn’t help and neither does pushing others to share when they’re not ready to do so. Remembering that everyone in the family is dealing with the loss you’re all experiencing can help.
There’s no Timetable for Grief
As much as it would be helpful to be able to gauge exactly when grief is coming to an end for every person, that’s something that just isn’t possible. Everyone grieves in their own time and in their own way. The best that you can do is to make sure that there’s as much support available for family members as possible.
Dealing with all of this is incredibly difficult for families to do on their own. You’ve got the practical issues of helping your elderly family member to live out the rest of her life in peace as well as the emotional impact of what’s happening. End-of-life care services can help you to balance those different needs and get the bereavement help that you all need.