Your family member may have been slowly slipping away and then suddenly seem to experience a massive turnaround in her condition. As surprising as this is, it’s also really common. If you’re prepared for the possibility, you might not feel as blindsided by this experience.
Try Not to Get Your Hopes Up
Your natural instinct when you see improvement from your family member is going to be joy and a feeling that she’s going to beat whatever she’s battling. The problem with this is that an end-of-life rally is extremely common. There are big changes happening in your family member’s body and sometimes that means that she’ll experience extreme lucidity, food cravings, and other experiences that she might not have been feeling up for recently.
Listen to What She Needs
Really listen to what your family member needs from you in the moment. If she’s craving a specific food, do what you can to get it for her. If what she needs is companionship or to talk about a difficult topic, see what you can do to help out. This may well be one of the last times that you can experience much interaction with your family member, so you need to take advantage of it.
A Sudden Reversal Is Common
As suddenly as this type of rally arrives, it can quickly disappear. Don’t be surprised if suddenly she’s looking and feeling exhausted again and declining food and drink. Those food cravings that she experienced may not be appealing anymore and she may not want to talk. She may fall deeply asleep, as if the entire experience wore her out, which it may well have done.
Offer Support to Your Family Member
Offer whatever bits of support you can to your family member during this time. She may not be as alert as you would like for her to be, but some part of her knows that you’re there. Try to talk to her and to gently touch her or to at least be near her. That can be soothing both for you and for your aging family member.
Hospice elder care providers can help you and other family members to navigate this confusing time in your family member’s experience. Whether this is a final rally or one of several is yet to be seen, but you can handle the situation much better when you know that you have support there with you.
If you or a loved-one are considering hospice elder care in Smyrna, GA, 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.