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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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What Advice Can You Give Other Family Members about Visiting a Senior Who Is Dying?

As your senior edges ever closer to the end of her life, other family members may be starting to realize that it’s time to make the time to visit her. The problem is that visiting someone at the end of her life can feel intimidating. Family members may need some advice to help them plan an appropriate visit.

Visits Don’t Need to Be Long

Many visitors might worry that they need to be there with your elderly family member for a long period of time, which can be intimidating. Instead, shoot for smaller visits of even just a few minutes. Your aging adult is less likely to be worn out and she’s going to be able to participate more. If family members are visiting from far away, several smaller visits can be more productive than one long visit with your senior.

There Doesn’t Have to Be an Activity or Even Conversation

Your family members also don’t need to worry about having a specific agenda with a list of activities and conversational topics mapped out. Depending on your senior’s situation, silence may be perfectly fine. If she’s not eating much or she’s sleeping a lot, she may not have the energy for activities or robust conversation. Just knowing that people who care about her are there with her can be more than enough for her.

Just Caring Is Enough

On the part of your other family members, just showing that they care can be enough, too. Presence matters a lot, especially during trying situations. Your elderly family member may not need anything in particular from those encounters other than having the people that she loves and who also care for her right there with her.

Help Is there for the Heavy Lifting

Your other family members might feel intimidated by your senior’s needs. They may worry that they won’t know what to do if something happens. You’ll be there most likely, but it’s also a good idea to have palliative care providers available as well. They can help you primarily with day-to-day care needs, but they can help your other family members to feel more comfortable while visiting, too.

Visiting someone who is at the end of her life doesn’t have to be complicated or frightening for your other family members. It can be a precious way to let your elderly family member know that she’s cared about and that she matters.

If you or an aging parent is considering hospice elder care in Philadelphia, 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.