As your elderly family member’s family caregiver, you may have been preparing for the end of her life for a while. That doesn’t make it any easier, however.
She May Become More Agitated
Especially if your elderly family member has been fairly calm, seeing her become more agitated and restless can be a little upsetting. You might want to try to help comfort her and find that to be extremely difficult. Help your senior to change positions or to move when she needs to, but try not to restrict her movement if possible.
She May Be Extremely Sleepy
Your loved one may want to be awake more often, but she might find that she’s exhausted more often than not. Her body is working hard to do even the most basic things, which can wear her out very quickly. Try to take advantage of the times that she’s awake and let her sleep when that’s what she seems to need.
Her Appetite Can Suffer
She may have been eating and drinking up until now, but you might find that suddenly it’s more difficult to get her to show interest in either. Much of this can be due to the fact that she’s sleeping more than usual, but it can also be a sign that her body is starting to need less food and water as the end comes closer.
Changes in Her Breathing
When you’re spending a lot of time next to your elderly family member’s bedside, you might find it disconcerting to notice that her breathing might be changing. She may experience deeper pauses in between breaths or her breathing may seem to be erratic. Check with her doctor if you’re uncertain whether you should be concerned about the breathing patterns you’re noticing.
She Might Seem More Withdrawn
Until recently, your senior may have been more involved in what was going on around her. She may have been laughing along with a favorite movie or asking you to read a specific book to her. But as she nears the end of her life, she may seem to withdraw a little more from what is going on around her until it might feel to you as if she’s not really there with you. Share the love you feel for her and keep her company as much as you can.
Having the help of experienced end-of-life care providers helps you and other family members to understand what’s going on. They can help you to prepare for those final moments that you and the rest of your family have been dreading.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering end-of-life care in Bensalem, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.
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.