Ideas for Helping Loved Ones Cope With a Terminal Illness

elder at the hospital

A terminal condition is described as one wherein curative therapies will no longer work, and chances of death are high. There are several stages of terminal conditions depending on the progression of your symptoms. In recent times, statistics have revealed a steady rise in terminal diseases. Chances of one or more people you know getting a terminal illness diagnosis are, therefore, high. When your loved one receives a terminal illness diagnosis, this is one of the hardest times he/she will go through.

The first step for most people is to enrol the patient in hospice services in Wichita or other locations. This is commendable and guarantees that the patient will live in dignity and comfort despite his/her condition. It also slows down the progression of the disease. Though essential, anyone with a terminal condition needs more than hospice care.

Here are other ways you can help your loved one cope with the condition:

Live as Normally as Possible

A terminal illness diagnosis will change your lives to some extent. You should nonetheless aim to live as nearly normal a life as possible. Do not focus on the terminal illness but rather seek to maximize the time you have with a loved one. Most people will stop engaging in certain activities they might have in the past and live somber lives. This, however, only leaves the loved one feeling like a burden and affects his/her emotional status.

Spread the Word Appropriately

You need to respect your loved one’s wishes on the people that should know about the diagnosis. Remember that some people are naturally private, while some might want everyone to know about the illness. Others might be overwhelmed by the sympathy form well-meaning well-wishers and get depressed. Either way, ask for permission from the patient before revealing his/her condition to someone else regardless of their relationship with the patient.

Ask Questions

Doctor holding a senior patient

Do not try reading your loved one’s mind on what he/she might want. Ask questions on what they might want to engage in and how they want to spend their time. They might, for instance, need help with paperwork, reaching out to people, and their finances. Imposing your opinions makes your loved one feel useless and sinks them into depression even before the disease takes a toll on their psychological state.

Do Not Encourage False Hope

Some people are tempted to downplay a terminal illness and create false hopes for the patient. When you do this, you deny the patient an opportunity to discuss his or her feelings and fears. Talking about the possibility of the patient’s death will ease the making of various decisions and boost the patient’s psychological well-being. This will also prepare a patient’s loved ones for his/her passing and ease the grieving process on them.

People think that optimal hospice care is all a patient with a terminal illness will need. The support a patient’s loved ones offer is, however, essential to his/her well-being and will determine his/her response to hospice care. With the above tips, you are well-placed to offer optimal support to your loved one. This also ensures that a terminal illness has as minimal impact as possible on the time you spend with your loved one.