While the holiday season may be filled with joy, it can spark feelings of loss and nostalgia for loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s also an incredibly poignant time for those who are providing end-of-life care for someone they love. The ebbs and tides of life, as we know, do not always follow our routines and schedules or desired outcomes.
If you are walking through a season of end-of-life caregiving, here are some thoughts to keep in mind to best help the person in your care – and yourself.
Be a “Loving Rock.” Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now, describes the importance of leaving emotions such as anxiety and fear at the door when in the presence of a person nearing the end of life. Instead, bring with you a calming sense of peace and unconditional love. It’s a matter of focusing first and foremost on the other person’s needs rather than getting caught up in our own emotions.
Remember the person who was. A terminal illness can change a person – physically, cognitively, or emotionally (or all of the above). If you struggle to connect with the person as a result of these changes – for instance, in the end stages of dementia – focusing on memories from the past can help. Call to mind how the person enjoyed spending time, what made them smile, the impact they had on those around them.
Care for yourself. The level of care you provide to someone else can only be as good as the care you’re taking for your own needs. Be kind to yourself. Set aside plenty of time for activities you enjoy and that are healing. Listen to your favorite music, get lost in a great book, talk with friends and family, write in a journal. Take care to eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of rest. If taking time away is a challenge, Serenity Home Care is always on hand to provide respite care to allow you to take regular breaks from your care responsibilities.
End-of-life care is never a journey you need to walk alone. Contact Serenity Home Care, the leading provider of compassionate end-of-life care in Victoria and surrounding areas, at 250.590.8098 any time for the partner in hospice care you need.
Our trained and experienced care team is on hand to offer comfort care that prioritizes the wishes and needs of each specific individual. We work together with social workers, medical care providers, and therapists for a unified approach to care that eases the transition at the end of life – both for the person receiving care and his or her loved ones.
Reach out to us for a free in-home consultation to find out more about how we can help.