Have you noticed your elderly parents are unable to do things like they did before? This could be due to a lack of energy, leading to physical problems like restlessness or breathlessness.
Perhaps you witnessed them losing interest in getting out of bed or having meaningful conversations. In the last few weeks, they have probably asked you to do basic things like washing their clothes, helping them eat, etc.
Unfortunately, these are signs that your parents are nearing the end of their lives. Therefore, offering the best experiences during this time is crucial for both you and your parents. In America, seniors are choosing to die in the comfort of their homes, surrounded by the people they love.
Many talk about providing physical comfort by managing pain, helping with breathing problems, etc. But only a few focus on the older adult’s emotional, spiritual, and practical needs.
In this blog, we will discuss these underrated caregiving tips to help you enhance your parents’ end-of-life experience.
#1. Taking Care of Practical Tasks
When your parents are nearing death, they will become worried about some mundane practical tasks. For instance, they will wonder who will take care of certain personal aspects when they are gone. Examples include watering plants, feeding and loving their pets, looking after the house, etc.
Your parents would want you to perform these tasks while they are around to see if you are doing them correctly. It will give them peace and reassurance that someone will care for their personal affairs when they are gone. However, an extra set of everyday duties like these can become overwhelming.
That is why you should get help from in-home care services in your city.
Why Choose Home Care Services?
You can hire home care services on busy days when you cannot care for your parents. These offer 24/7 companionship and assistance for near-death seniors. For example, based on the city you live in, they will run errands, provide hospice support, perform laundry services, offer technology assistance, etc.
Let’s assume you and your loved one live in Lexington, Kentucky. The city is labeled a great place to retire due to its affordable living costs, access to healthcare, and exceptional home care services.
Approximately 17.3% of the city’s population is over the age of 65. It proves that in-home care opportunities are abundant in this city. Hence, home care services in Lexington will surely be easy to find once you analyze their qualifications, services offered, cost, client reviews, transparency, etc.
Similarly, in any American city, assistance from in-home care will help support you and bring relief to your dying parents. According to Always Best Care Senior Services, experienced professionals will offer personalized services to care for the senior’s needs. These individuals are also trained for specialized and respite care services to cater to someone’s end-of-life needs.
#2. Managing Their Emotional Needs
As a caregiver, you must help your parents manage their emotional and mental distress. In most cases, they might be alert that they are nearing death and feel isolated. Due to that, they will become more anxious, depressed, and scared.
But you are the only one who can treat this suffering and ease their emotional pain. For that, you need to encourage conversations about what they are feeling.
Remember that they will be afraid of the unknown and worried about the things they leave behind. That is why you should not let them see your sadness. Instead, be your usual, cheery self to help them come out of their mental confusion.
Tips to Help Manage Their Emotional Needs
You should follow these tips to meet their emotional needs:
- Hug them more often to maintain positive physical contact.
- Create a comfortable mood in their room with soft lighting.
- Play their favorite music at a low volume to help them relax.
- Communicate with them every day and be there for them.
#3. Meeting Their Spiritual Needs
Facing death can reawaken anyone’s long-dormant spirituality. These include the following aspects:
- Finding the true meaning of life
- Completing any unfinished tasks
- Easily forgive those who have wronged them
- Ending disagreements with friends and family
- Making peace with death and finding hope in the life beyond
However, your parents might not be vocal about this. As a result, their spiritual needs remain unaddressed.
Your Duty as a Caregiver
As a caregiver, you must see to it that all your parents’ needs, desires, and wants are taken care of before they die. For instance, if they want to resolve unsettled issues with a family member, you must be the bridge between them.
Even if your parents have never believed in God, they might suddenly find solace in faith or other spiritual beliefs. You should not stop them from reading religious texts, listening to spiritual music, or praying.
They can also find peace by sharing memories, watching videos, or looking at old photo albums to reminisce about good times. Similarly, if your parents were initially in a confused state, they might miraculously start thinking clearly. Unfortunately, this is temporary and not a sign that they are getting better.
Sometimes, the dying person can also imagine talking to God. When that happens, avoid interrupting or correcting them. This way, you give them enough space to experience a spiritual reality they are comfortable with.
In conclusion, you must remember to plan for the inevitable. You need to accept that anything can happen in the next few days. All you have to do is listen to your parents and do everything they ask of you. To ensure the effectiveness of end-of-life care, you can hire a professional who specializes in providing home care services.
During that time, you should also seek financial advice on caregiving and address family conflicts. Remember, your parents have the right to comfort and dignity until their last breath.