Near the end of your family member’s battle with cancer, she may be feeling extremely weak and unable to do much of anything.
She won’t be as interested in her favorite foods and even staying awake might be difficult for her. As her caregiver, you might be feeling as if there’s not much that you can do to make a difference for her.
Keep Noise and Unnecessary Movements to a Minimum
When your elderly family member is nearing the end of her battle with cancer, it’s important that she’s got a stable environment that isn’t jolting or jarring to her. This is why it’s important to keep unnecessary noise to a minimum. Soothing music can help, as can talking in low voices when you talk with her and with others.
Help Her to Change Positions Every Couple of Hours
It’s important for your family member’s physical comfort that she moves every couple of hours. This helps to prevent pressure sores on her skin and eases pressure on her muscles and joints. If you’re not sure how to move your family member, hospice care providers can show you the easiest ways to move her without causing her more pain and discomfort. Pillows and blankets can help you to prop her into more comfortable positions.
Modify Foods and Medications for Swallowing Issues
If your family member is having difficulty swallowing, you might need to modify her foods and even her medications to make them easier for her. Foods can be liquefied, but medication might seem more complicated. Hospice care providers can help you to determine if liquid versions of medications or even patch medications would be a better option for your family member.
Cool, Damp Cloths Can Feel Soothing
Your family member might feel clammy or even too warm at different points. It can help for you to keep cool, damp cloths handy to wipe down the skin on her arms, legs, and face periodically. This can also help her to feel a little fresher when she’s not able to get out of bed easily to bathe or to shower. Using these damp cloths can also help her to cool down when she’s feeling too warm.
Cancer is a difficult battle, both for your ailing family member and for yourself as her caregiver. At the end, being there for her and letting her know that you’re still there supporting her is a powerful way to show you care.