Having a loved one with a terminal illness is one of the most challenging things a person can go through and the process of coming to terms with the situation takes time. It is very normal not to be okay during this process.
One thing that you can do to make it easier for you and your loved one is to be open and communicate your feelings. This will help when it comes time to organize palliative care and make plans for the future.
If you need more support with your emotions during this time, talk to a therapist. Don’t forget to look after yourself.
Be Open and Communicative
When your loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it can be a huge shock not only for them but for you and their other friends and family.
This diagnosis indicates a massive change in your lives and you all have to come to terms with the fact that one day you may have to say goodbye. This truth can leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable, sad, and even bitter.
One way that you can deal with these feelings and the fear that comes with them is to be open and honest with your loved one.
Though they are dealing with their own feelings, fears, and questions, you both will benefit from talking about your feelings. Keeping it bottled in is not healthy, and if you do not share your emotions, your loved one might not understand why you are acting a certain way.
Speaking openly about the situation can help your loved one face up to the future and address the questions and concerns they have. This will also help them to feel less alone. Sharing an experience is always better than going through such a huge shock alone.
Look Into Palliative Care
When it comes time to think about palliative care for your loved one, you will want to find a facility that meets your needs and provides a personalized, high-quality service.
Look for a center that explicitly states on its website that their end-of-life care is driven by compassion and is patient-centered. Your loved one’s care plan should be regularly assessed and suit their needs at every stage of this journey.
Your loved one’s palliative care will include meal preparation that is appropriate for their health, physical capacities, and religious or ethical dietary choices. Moreover, your loved one’s dignity will be respected at all times, during bathroom and personal hygiene care.
Finally, for end-of-life care, your loved one will be provided with appropriate pain relief. End-of-life and palliative care are essentially about allowing your loved one to continue living as comfortably and safely as possible while experiencing their terminal illness.
Make Plans For The Future
It can be a challenging conversation to have, but this is the time to discuss your loved one’s wishes after they are gone. This might include conversations about their will, life insurance, or funeral planning.
If your loved one has young dependents, the conversations about their finances and their wishes for the minors’ care are particularly important, albeit challenging.
Make sure that you know what your loved one wants to happen so that when the time comes to take action there is no doubt. This can prevent family fallouts during such an emotionally-charged time.
As for the funeral, if your loved one has specific requests, you should record these and show them that you intend to honor their wishes, where possible. This can provide your loved one comfort and give you peace of mind that you are doing all you can.
Speak To A Therapist
Finally, if you or your loved one are struggling to comprehend the situation or face the truth of what is to come, it can be very helpful to speak about your emotions and concerns with a therapist. You might find some clarity and closure about the situation and be more ready to face the future when it comes.
There is no shame in needing more support or help dealing with your emotions in such a challenging situation, so if you feel you would benefit from therapy, it is strongly recommended that you give it a try.
Hopefully, this brief guide to approaching your loved one’s terminal illness has helped you to plan and prepare for the future. The first step is addressing the situation with your loved one, and this can be very tough. It is ok to feel all kinds of emotions and not to know what to say. This is normal.
Once you have addressed the situation, you can discuss palliative care and make plans so that you are prepared when you need professional help. Your plans for the future will also include conversations about your loved one’s will, life insurance, and funeral. If you find these conversations and ideas very challenging to think about, it is a good idea to speak to a therapist.