Caring for a Senior Coping with a Life Threatening Illness
As people age, many of them have to deal with a chronic, life-threatening illness. If you are caring for an aging parent or loved one who has been diagnosed with a serious illness, there are several factors to consider. For example, if you considering living with the person, you must be able to deal with the possible loss of physical abilities and be supportive when they lose their independence as well as physical well-being.
Dealing with Feelings
When seniors are facing a life-threatening illness, many crave the support of family and friends. Simply being there to hold their hand, watch a television show or listen to them reminisce is often enough to give them the strength they need to cope with the illness. It is important to ask how they are doing and if they need anything. Seniors who are experiencing a serious illness often have feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, anger, depression and fear, so it is important to sympathize with their emotional state and provide them with comfort.
Talking about the Inevitable
It is common for seriously ill seniors to want to talk about their impending death. You will not be able to provide all of the answers, but you can listen and reassure them that it is okay to be scared. If you need more support during these conversations, it is often helpful to seek the services of Hospice. It is often helpful when you ask your loved one questions, it may be that they want to talk about the situation, but aren’t sure how to bring the topic up, so encourage them to talk about their concerns.
It can become overwhelming and frustrating knowing that there isn’t anything you can do to change the situation. However, for the majority of seniors, simply knowing that their loved ones are near their side to give support and love, as well as listen to them while they remember their lives is enough.