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"The best things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched
they must be felt with the heart"
– Helen Keller
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Facilitating Communication and Comfort at the End of Life

Near the end of your aging family member’s life, you might find that it’s difficult to help her to be as comfortable as you want her to be. Part of the problem is that communication is a lot more difficult during this time.

Knowing Why Certain Things Are Happening Is Difficult

Depending on what your senior is going through, she may not be able to communicate with you and she may not have the reasoning abilities to know what’s happening around her. This makes it difficult for her to understand what you’re doing and vice versa. She may not be eating because she’s in pain or she’s not hungry, but you might think she’s confused. There can be a big disconnect for each of you.

Providing Comfort Is Also Difficult

When you don’t know how to comfort your senior in the way that she needs that can take a toll on you both, too. It’s important to be able to comfort your senior and to let her know that you’re there for her. That helps both of you more than you might realize.

Use All of Your Senior’s Senses to Offer Comfort

Comfort is something that you can express in a variety of ways if you’re paying close attention. Reading to your senior or talking to her, even if she can’t respond, appeals to her sense of hearing. Lightly touching your senior as you talk to her is a reassuring touch that can help her to feel more grounded in the moment. Massage can also help. Dimming the lights can keep them from being too harsh for her to see when you walk into the room. All of these different sensations can work together to create a comforting atmosphere.

Bring in Experienced Helpers

Providing comfort is a natural urge, but knowing to do so in a way that actually helps your senior at the end of her life may not feel as natural for you. This is when end-of-life care providers can offer you tips and techniques that help you to find a balance that works for both of you. They can also help you with the practical aspects of caring for your senior as she nears the end of her life.

Every end-of-life experience is unique, so you and your family members will all have to work together to find the right answers for your senior’s situation. Employing your compassion, caring, and all of the other tools that you have at your disposal is going to help you with that endeavor.

If you or an aging parent are considering end-of-life care in Bensalem, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.

Michael Drew, LNHA

Michael Drew LNHA is the administrator of Serenity Hospice PA, servicing the greater Bensalem and Philadelphia areas. In this capacity, he leads and inspires the company’s mission of providing quality and compassionate end-of-life care and supportive services for patients and their families, and to enhance their quality of life. Michael’s hallmark is his genuine concern for patients and his dedication to meeting their needs.
A veteran of providing quality healthcare, Michael has served with distinction in a variety of leadership capacities for nearly two decades, notably as administrator for several Skilled Nursing Facilities in New Jersey. Known as an innovative and solution-oriented individual, Michael has his finger on the pulse on new trends and concepts in providing quality care.