Waiting for God

Palliative Care – End of Life Needs

Close up of lovely daughter visiting and kissing sick mother on forehead while resting in hospital bed. Senior patient laying on gurney with eyes closed while daughter assuring a speedy recovery. Old mom patient being kissed while recovering from disease in nursing home.

Needs for coordinating end-of-life in palliative care are the least challenging logistically, but the most difficult emotionally.  It is at this stage that your dependent senior is actively dying.  Palliative care can be provided in the home or in a palliative care facility, such as hospice care.

The needs of those who are passing away change to focusing on physical, emotional and spiritual comfort.  This is when death plan become of utmost importance. 

It will be important to work with a team health care providers, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and chaplains (at end-of-life even those most opposed to religious practice often desire somebody trained in spiritual matters). 

Focus on treatment of: 

  • Pain and physical discomfort (difficulty breathing, constipation, nausea, etc.)
  • Feeling of unease such as anxiety and/or depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Wandering
It is also important to ensure physical hygiene is maintained.  It becomes more an more difficult to clean your mouth and your private parts, which can lead to more discomfort and infection.   For those who are bedridden, moving is essential to prevent bed sores, bruising and joint pain.

Depending on the person, companionship and tasty food can be very important.  Be prepared for your dependent senior to want to spend more time alone.  
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