“What is time, really? When you are diagnosed with a terminal disease like cancer or leukemia, your perception of time changes” -Craig Sager
The above quote by the American sports reporter who lost his life to cancer speaks volume about the importance of creating a comforting space for terminally-ill patients. The truth that they are going to die makes them conscious about the need for spending more time with people they love. They wish to make rest of their life meaningful, but the continuous pain and discomfit does not allow them to do the same. So, if you are a caregiver to someone diagnosed with a terminally-ill disease, here are some valuable tips that you can follow to provide relief and comfort to your loved one.
Improve home safety
Since a terminally-ill disease had to depend on several medicines that can extreme fatigue or weakness, rearrange the home furniture to ensure clear pathways from one room to another. Add grab rails near the bed, in the bathroom, and in other places to prevent any fall. Identify potential hazards like dangling chords or slippery floor too.
Skin becomes quickly dehydrated when a person has a terminally-ill disease. So, inspect the skin and apply an unscented lotion three or four times to provide them feel comfortable with their skin. Refrain from using any petroleum-based skincare product if oxygen is administered.
Encourage to do meditation
Meditation and yoga have been found effective in reducing stress levels in many studies across the world. So, you can encourage your loved one to practice meditation to feel relaxation and peace. Daily meditation can also help them to uplift their mood.
Monitor the pain medication
Administering pain medications can be extremely challenging for caregivers without adequate training. Sometimes, the resistance of their loved ones also adds to their woes. However, since it is important to alleviate their pain, you have to not only administer the same but also monitor the intake of pain medications as prescribed by the doctor.
Support spiritual concerns
When people accept the fact that they are going to die, a myriad of emotions can make them spiritually more inclined. Some may express a desire to have a priest praying for them or some reading a holy scripture. Whatever may be the spiritual concerns to find the meaning of their life on this earth or to feel more at peace with the situation, don’t forget to offer your unconditional support.
Apart from following the above caregiving tips, you should also pay attention to their meals. They may refuse to eat or drink properly at such a stage. Be compassionate and communicate with them often. You can’t defy death but can create a comforting space for them.
Don’t forget to seek support from a support group or from experienced caregivers to get the much-needed emotional support. You also have to take care of yourself to care for your loved one in their final journey.