At the end of your senior’s life, comfort may be the majority of what you can do for her. Here are some ideas about how to offer comfort to her.
Keep Her Mouth Moist
Your senior is likely not eating and drinking the same as she always has, so it’s very possible that her mouth is dry and could become irritated. Ice chips or a damp towel dabbed around her mouth can help to keep her lips and mouth less dry. You might also want to apply lip balm regularly to her lips.
Try Different Tactics to Ease Her Breathing
As your senior grows closer to the end of her life, her breathing is going to give her more and more trouble. Look for solutions that work for her. Sometimes the humidity is too high or too low. Correcting that problem can help. Propping your senior up on pillows can also help. Experiment to figure out what works the best.
Keep Her Skin Clean and Dry
Moist skin is more likely to develop bedsores and other problems, so it’s a good idea to learn how to help your senior to stay clean and dry, even when she’s bedridden. Regular sponge baths and frequent changes of clothing can help quite a bit. Hospice care providers can help you to maneuver your senior in ways that don’t endanger either of you.
Talk to Your Senior
If your senior seems to be confused or upset, try talking to her. Just hearing the sound of your voice can be calming for her. Try telling her what’s happening with other family members or with you. If you feel as if you’re running out of things to say, try reading to your elderly family member.
Watch for Signs of Pain, Especially if She Can’t Communicate
Some aging adults stop talking before they pass away. If that’s the case with your elderly family member, you may need to be aware of signs that she might be in pain. You might notice that she’s grimacing or that she tenses up. You may need to work with her medical team to find a pain management plan that works for her.
Stay as Calm as Possible
It’s really difficult to manage your emotions when someone that you love is dying. You might find that you’re able to keep it together and to be strong when you’re right there with your elderly family member, but you still need to be able to process those feelings. Taking time away from the situation can help so very much.
When you’re not sure what to do for your aging adult, hospice care providers can help. They have experience helping family members and caregivers determine what might help to comfort their aging adults the most.
If you or a loved-one are considering hospice care in Atlanta, please call the caring staff at Arcturus Hospice and Palliative Care today. Call 678-383-9973 today to speak to our care team.
Kate Gorinshteyn is the director of marketing at Arcturus Health Care. Arcturus is a fast-growing Hospice striving to provide the highest level of quality care to patients faced with life-limiting illnesses. Our goal is to make each patient as pain-free as possible and give physiological, emotional and spiritual support to both the patient and family. We understand that the decision change from curative to comfort care is difficult, and our team is trained to help you every step of the way!
We are proud to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.