Taking Care of a Loved One Who is Terminal Ill Receiving a news that someone you love has a terminal illness is really life-changing, and many families are really struggling with everyday challenges along with caregiving and spending life at its fullest potential. Many families don’t really know how to handle the situation, and may […]
Taking Care of a Loved One Who is Terminal Ill
Receiving a news that someone you love has a terminal illness is really life-changing, and many families are really struggling with everyday challenges along with caregiving and spending life at its fullest potential. Many families don’t really know how to handle the situation, and may have mixed reactions. 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. Expect that your loved one will surely want to spend his life at its fullest and build precious memories, so be there to show support to his simple request and wishes like going to the sea to get some fresh air or swim, watching his favorite movies, viewing the sunset, or meeting with old friends.
Even if your loved one’s illness is considered terminal, he can still have a quality of life by doing some research about the nature and management of his illness to help him go through the signs and symptoms, and how to somehow relieve them. The Internet is a very good source of information, all you have to do is to open a browser with Google or Yahoo, and enter into the search engine the terminal illness you are trying to search for like peritoneal mesothelioma, congenital heart defect, or lung 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. Denial is a coping mechanism for people with terminal illness because the reality of knowing you will soon die is really frightening and overwhelming, and denial blocks or protects a person from this reality to prevent being out of control. People who have terminal illness fear pain, financial hardship, losing autonomy and bodily functions, becoming a burden to the family, 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. If your loved one opens the topic about life and death, don’t divert the topic but allow expression, affirming him that his life is worth it and he will be remembered. As a way of honoring your loved one, you can also consider recording your conversations to honor him. There will come a point that if your loved one feels the time is coming, he will open up the topic of his wishes before he dies, so don;t forget to ask what he wants because there are people who want to die with their loved ones nearby, while there are those who prefer dying alone or privately.