Taking Care of a Loved One Who is Terminal Ill
A terminal illness affecting a family member or someone you love changes life in general, not only when it comes to providing care and support but also the fear of losing that person. A lot of people are confused and overwhelmed in dealing with the matter especially when it comes to the right reaction, how to provide comfort, and support. It is not healthy to just sit at home with the curtains drawn dwelling on the situation, you need to be your loved one’s strength and support most especially in this toughest time on his life. Your loved one would want to spend his life with something meaningful and memorable such as watching the sunset, going to the beach, or meeting with friends.
While it is true that a terminal illness may have painful and burdensome signs and symptoms, you can still help to relieve these manifestations by doing a thorough research on your end when it comes to managing such illness. Use the internet as a resource tool since it is accessible anytime and anywhere you go using different internet-capable mobile devices, and just open a browser like Google or Yahoo then enter the name of the illness (e.g. peritoneal mesothelioma, congenital heart defect, or cervical cancer. For a person with a terminal illness, the mere presence of someone to talk to counts a lot, so be a listener. Allow time for your loved one to pour his emotions and thoughts, and don’t force acceptance because there is no right or wrong when it comes to death. Terminally ill patients usually experience denial as a form of protecting themselves from the overwhelming and frightening reality of death, and as long as the denial is not causing your loved one harm, then it is not necessarily negative. The most common fears of a person with a terminal illness include loss of control of bodily functions, losing independence, becoming a burden to the family, financial consequences, pain, and death.
It is important to provide your loved one spiritual and psychological support by inviting him to talk about his fears, and seek professional help as needed such as a spiritual counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. It is important to talk about life and death if your loved one opens the topic, and affirm that his life mattered and he will be remembered. As a way of honoring your loved one, you can also consider recording your conversations to honor him. If the time comes, let the dying person’s wishes done, as there are those who wants their loved ones nearby, and there are those who prefer to go privately.