Dealing with death is rarely easy, even if you have lost many loved ones throughout your life. If you have a loved one nearing death awareness, there are a few ways to provide mental and emotional support throughout their journey. While it’s not always easy, knowing how to spot the signs of a loved one who is nearing death awareness can help you to better prepare for what is to come next.
Help Them Stay Physically Comfortable
When someone is nearing death awareness, it’s essential to keep them physically comfortable for as long as possible. The level of challenge involved in providing physical comfort to a loved one who is nearing death awareness will vary based on their age, condition, and where they are being affected by their illness or disease.
Depending on the type of physical support your loved one needs, you can supply them with canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and even heating pads or cushions. Additional padding whenever they are seated or lying down can also provide another layer of comfort. If possible, schedule a chiropractic appointment for your loved one. Visiting a chiropractor can provide instant and ongoing relief if your loved one is suffering from back pain or pain in a specific area of the body. Chiropractors specialize in pinpointing areas that require specific treatment for long-term relief. Visiting a chiropractor regularly with a loved one who is terminally ill is a way to ensure they are as comfortable as possible even as the pain begins to progress throughout the body.
Support Their Last Wishes
When someone is nearing death awareness, it’s important to support their last wishes as best as possible. Depending on your relationship with your loved one and your designated responsibilities once they pass, you may also need to work with a pre planning service to assist you along the way. Supporting your loved one’s last wishes may include taking a trip around the world, exploring an exciting new museum, or even reconnecting with loved ones from the past. Your loved one may also enlist you to help with managing their estate and planning their funeral service, if they intend to have one.
How You Can Support Your Loved One’s Last Wishes
You can support your loved one’s last wishes by being direct with them and asking them about what they desire upfront. Although the topic may not always be easy to broach, it is often best to do so directly. Depending on the closeness of your relationship, you may feel more comfortable asking personal questions of your loved one, especially when it comes to planning for their estate and funeral service. Always remain gentle and open when speaking to a loved one about their last wishes. Do not expect an immediate answer, as this question can be extremely difficult for some who are still processing that they are currently nearing death.
Don’t Fight the Future
When one of your loved ones is nearing death awareness, it’s important not to avoid the situation or ignore it altogether. Do not fight the future, as this will not make it any easier to cope with and handle once the day that your loved one passes arrives. By accepting that your loved one is nearing death awareness, you can help them to better prepare for what is to come next, including working with a local funerary service. However, before you begin searching for and comparing local funeral homes and services near you, it’s highly recommended to have a discussion with your loved ones about their preferences and how they want to celebrate their life after they are gone.
Bring Out Their Creativity
Bringing out a loved one’s creativity is a great way to help them cope with becoming increasingly aware of their nearing mortality. Creative endeavors are not only a way to explore new hobbies, but they can also help with releasing natural endorphins, such as serotonin and dopamine. Creative activities can include writing a book, interviewing your loved one about their life, or even getting crafty to create memorabilia together.
You can also discuss planning ideas with your loved one if they are interested in a funeral service or if they would like a custom cemetery monument. It’s important to broach this topic as sensitively as possible, even if you are close with your loved one, as it is not always an easy time or decision.
The more creative activities you indulge in with your loved one, the less likely they are to feel overwhelmed emotionally and mentally when dealing with their current condition. Creative activities and hobbies are great resources for stress relief and work well as distractions. Finding a new passion or hobby is also a way for your loved one to spend more of their time doing something they enjoy and love. Finding hobbies that do not require strenuous physical activity is also highly recommended, especially if your loved one is beginning to decline cognitively or experiences physical limitations and restrictions.
Make Sure Their Wishes Are Understood
When you are in charge of supporting a loved one while they are becoming more aware of their mortality, it is vital to ensure their wishes are understood and respected as best as possible. If your loved one speaks a foreign language, consider seeking out translation services that can help verify his or her wishes when it comes to writing their will or planning their estate. Working together with all of the loved ones in your family or in your loved one’s family is also highly recommended.
Being a mediator while your loved one is nearing death is also essential and can help avoid arguments, disputes, and problems that typically arise when a loved one passes away. By gathering your loved one’s wishes ahead of time and obtaining them in writing, you can work with the proper legal representatives to ensure the wishes are carried out appropriately. Discussing your loved one’s wishes openly and to all of those involved is also recommended to keep conflict at a minimum in the family.
Take Them Away From Stressful Circumstances
Anytime someone is diagnosed as terminally ill, the emotional and mental toll can be significant. If you want to provide your loved one with as much support as possible, you should remove them from stressful circumstances whenever you can. This may mean taking vacations after a slew of doctor appointments that have drained your loved one mentally and emotionally. Simply taking a vacation to a nearby beach or renting a small house in a spot that your loved one enjoys visiting can help them to find balance again in their chaotic life.
Other ways to remove the stress from your loved one’s mind may be to visit a local movie theater, science museum, or local event that is appealing to them. Taking a road trip or spending time at a nearby river or lake is also a great way to decompress and provide stress relief to your loved one.
Help Them Move in With a Trusted Family Member or Friend
When your loved one has awareness of their nearing death, it may be time to move them in with a trusted family member or friend. Providing your loved one with additional support in person can help them to feel much more capable of facing the challenges that lie ahead. Once you find a loved one you can trust, you can begin searching for professional moving services to help transport your loved one’s belongings. Enlisting a professional moving company is highly recommended when moving someone who is terminally ill. Professional movers are not only licensed and insured, but also experienced at moving large pieces of furniture. Additionally, a professional moving service can alleviate the stress of moving for your loved one altogether.
Keep Them Safe as They Navigate This Challenging Time
Keeping your loved one safe while they are navigating the challenging time of facing death awareness is key to protecting them as much as possible. From providing your loved ones with mobility equipment such as scooters, wheelchairs, and canes, to taking preventative measures such as investing in a gun safe, there are many ways to keep your loved one safe during tough times. Some ways to help keep your loved one safe include:
- Talking openly about their condition: Being upfront and transparent about your loved one’s condition and possible deterioration is essential, especially if they have recently been diagnosed. Being open about the potential cognitive and physical decline they are likely to face can help you to put a plan of action in place together without hostility or having your loved one feel left out of the decision-making later on down the line.
- Provide mobility equipment: Mobility equipment can make a significant improvement in the quality of life your loved one has while they are nearing death. Wheelchairs, canes, and even motorized scooters provide your loved one with the ability to get around even if they are no longer able to do so on their own without assistance.
- Invest in safety items around the house: Depending on the condition of your loved one, it may be time to invest in outlet protectors and other safety-related items around the home, such as a gun safe. You will need to assess your loved one’s cognitive abilities and limitations when choosing what safety items you need around the house.
Fulfill Bucket List Items With Them
One way to make the most out of someone’s life is to celebrate the time they still have by fulfilling bucket list items. From traveling to a new country to exploring a new hobby, there are many different ways that you can help your loved one fulfill bucket list items that mean the most to them. Some ways that you can help a loved one fulfill a bucket list might include:
- Travel somewhere new: Traveling is a major bucket list item for many individuals who are nearing death awareness. When someone still has the physical and mental capability to do so, exploring a brand new city, state, or country is a great way to make lifelong memories.
- Try a new hobby or activity: Depending on the physical limitations of your loved one, they might find joy in pursuing a new hobby or activity that they have always wanted to try. From learning a new language and knitting to finding collectibles that mean something special, there are many hobbies to consider pursuing at any age or stage in life.
- Design a family crest: Creating or implementing a family crest that involves your loved one is a great way to make memorabilia that will last a lifetime. If you already have a family crest, consider having the crest printed on custom hats, t-shirts, and other items that your loved one will use each day.
Help Them Maintain Their Appearance
Anyone who is nearing death awareness may become overwhelmed, especially if they are unsure of how to go about processing the changes that may be happening to their body. Helping your loved one maintain their appearance can provide them with a boost of self-esteem and confidence that is necessary for them to get through the day. From shopping for a brand-new wardrobe to investing in human hair wigs, there are many different avenues to consider when you want to help your loved one maintain their appearance while they are going through the toughest time of their life.
How Maintaining One’s Appearance Can Help When Nearing Death
Dealing with the diagnosis of a terminal illness or condition is taxing enough. Losing one’s hair, voice, cognitive abilities, and more can be extremely heavy, mentally and emotionally. By tending to one’s appearance prior to their diagnosis, your loved one may feel a bit more like themselves. When your loved one can still reference styles and looks from the past, they are less likely to feel down about their current condition.
Helping a loved one who is nearing death awareness requires strength and plenty of unconditional love. While the task is not always easy, it is a noble and admirable one, especially when tending to loved ones in their time of need. By providing support and guidance while your loved one nears death, you will give them an opportunity to make the most of the time that they have left.