Keeping vigil is a common activity when you have a family member who is nearing the end of her life, but you may not realize how simple it can be. These are some ideas that you can use when keeping vigil for your senior family member.
Managing Pain and Discomfort
Pain and general discomfort are likely to be the biggest issues for your aging family member during this stage of her life. Working with end-of-life care providers allows you to have help in determining the best ways to manage your senior’s discomfort and pain. They’ll work with her doctor according to her care plan.
Keeping the Immediate Area Peaceful
You don’t have to go out of your way to maintain total silence at all times, but it’s a good idea to seek out an atmosphere of peace. You can do that by keeping lighting lower than normal so it isn’t jarring. Keeping only a few people in the room at a time can also help. Lowering the volume on the television or the radio can also help contribute to that atmosphere.
Open a Window or Use a Fan to Keep Air Circulating
Fresh air can help quite a bit, too. Even cracking a window a little bit can allow just enough fresh air into the room to help keep the air in the room from feeling stale and stagnant. If the weather is cold, then a fan on low might be a better option.
Talk, Play Music, Read to Your Senior, or Just Sit with Her
Very often caregivers and other family members feel as if they really shouldn’t talk or do much of anything to bother their senior. There is still quite a bit that you can do, especially if your elderly family member is still conscious. Talk with her, play some of her favorite music, or try other activities. Even if she’s sleeping more than she’s awake, talk gently and let her know you’re still there.
Take Breaks Periodically
It’s difficult to force yourself to take time away from your elderly family member when she’s near the end of her life. But if you’re not taking breaks, you’re more likely to wear yourself out to the point that you’re not able to do as much for your senior as you want to do. It’s important for both of you that you take breaks as often as you can.
Keeping vigil means different things for everyone according to the situation. What it means for you and your family is what’s important. Stick with whatever helps you and your senior to feel comfortable and supported during this stage in her life.
If you or an aging parent are considering end-of-life care in Norristown, 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.
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