Knowing that your senior is about to pass away is so painful that many caregivers try to bury themselves in the tasks of caregiving to avoid dealing with those emotions. But you can use this time to help prepare for the eventual reality.
Tell Your Senior How You Feel
Many people worry that a family member who is close to passing away doesn’t want to talk about it, but that’s not always the case. Your family member may be anxious to be able to talk to you about the future, even one without her in it. She may also want to share with you how she’s feeling and that she loves you. If you have other things you want to say to each other, now may be the only time you have.
Share Stories with Other Family Members
If your other family members are nearby, now might be a great time to share stories about how much they love your family member. There may be funny stories or poignant stories that not everyone has heard yet. This is how families share so much information with each other. It’s through stories and tales that get shared through love.
Make Memory Records with Your Senior, if She’s Able
In many cases, your family member may still be able to communicate with you, even near the end of her life. This is a perfect time to capture those stories and memories that she has firsthand into some sort of record that can last long after she passes away. You might make an audio recording, for instance, or even a video recording to share with other family members. Preserving your family member’s words for later is priceless.
Find Extra Support if You Need It
Anticipatory grief is very real and very debilitating. If you’re not sure where to turn for help with it, hospice care providers are able to put you in touch with the resources that you’ll need. They can also provide practical, hands-on help with your family member’s daily care that enables you to take care of yourself emotionally. Grief support groups may be another avenue that you utilize to help you manage how you’re feeling during this phase of your family member’s journey.
There’s no timetable for grief and everyone grieves in their own way. Try to find the methods and the tools that work for you so that you have what you need. This part of being a caregiver is not easy, but it’s a necessary part of the journey.