Tips to Help Your Loved One Cope with Terminal Illness

Written By Alla Levin
July 06, 2021

Tips to Help Your Loved One Cope with Terminal Illness

Suppose you took some time out from your busy schedule to meet your loved one and spend some quality time together to relieve your stress. Only to find that your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The time may seem to freeze, and you might be in a state of denial.

The news that a person you love and care about most is about to die is indeed heartbreaking. You might wish to find the cure for their illness or do anything in your hand to save your loved one. However, the truth is you can’t evade the situation or remove their terminal illness.

However, what you can do is help your loved one deal with this challenging time. The terminally ill person is already going through a struggling phase; your help in their last days can mean a lot to them. It is to note there is no single universal formula to support a terminally ill patient. It all boils down to the level of bonding with your loved one. Nevertheless, here are some tips that can help you both navigate through difficult times:

Assist in Legal Formalities

Some people have a habit of having every affair in order, such as death will, funeral arrangements, etc. However, be mindful, many other people often overlook these factors till the end time. You can speak to your terminally ill patient about what legal paperwork they wish to have. Make sure not to rush into this conversation if the patient still has some years left. Instead, let the patient dictate such matters at their comfort.

Moreover, many people undergo financial burdens with extensive medical expenses during their treatment. While you and your loved one wish to peacefully get through this challenging time, how can you achieve peace with unfair medical expenses? For that, you can search around your area or online to find a good attorney. For instance, if you live in the USA, you can consult firms like Simmons Law Firm to help you navigate complex legal processes in such a case. In this way, you can also hold the responsible party accountable for their unjust behavior.

Be a Good ListenerTips to Help Your Loved One Cope with Terminal Illness

One of the most effective ways to help your loved ones cope with their illness is to let them talk if they want. Make sure to converse on topics that are of interest to the terminally ill patient. It could be anything from family to community events or any hot sports news etc.

That way, they won’t feel bored. However, try to be an active listener to show them you value them. Don’t forget to let them take charge of the conversation and let them set the pace, too.

It could be that they are trying a new treatment and have questions about it such as what is ocrevus, or perhaps they just need an ear to listen while they vent. No matter what it is, make sure you are there for them.

Offer Support

Each individual has a different way of dealing with their illness. A best practice is to ask your loved ones what their preferences are and what support they want from you. That way, you can assist them in their critical time as per their wishes.

You can provide them with emotional support by talking or simply sitting with them, holding hands with them, but what about physical support? Therefore, you can offer your help in buying groceries, taking care of their pets, etc. If they require, you can also offer them to prepare meals and assist them in bathing. Your support can alleviate their workload and would mean the world to them.

Everyone will have different feelings around this, but looking home health care options to hospice care and final wishes when the time comes can put everyone’s mind at ease. Other support options are helping them to discuss their end-of-life options. It isn’t easy to discuss, but it is better to consult than not know the wishes.

Treat Them Normally

Another crucial tip to help your loved one cope with their terminal illness is not to treat them as someone dying. Your help or support in no way should make them feel uncomfortable. Likewise, try not to treat them as an outsider or a stranger. Instead, treat them as normally as you can. For instance, if their health allows them to attend family or community events, make sure to take them with you.

Similarly, discover their most friendly activities such as fishing, a trip to a museum, etc., and encourage them to enjoy such activities as normal people. Furthermore, even if the terminally ill patient can’t participate in such activities, they can sit on the sides to enjoy. Moreover, while sitting with them in the same room at any gathering, try to include them in conversation to not feel out of place.

Help Them Fulfill Their Wish list

Sure it would take some time for you and your loved one to come to terms with the terrible revelation of a terminal illness. However, once you both have accepted the harsh reality, you should ask them what they wish to accomplish before their time of death comes. Chances are the patient wants to live their life to the fullest while they have time.

So to respect their wishes, bring out a notebook and a pen and start making their wish list. For example, list down the places they wish to visit and the name of people who the patient wishes to accompany them in their travel. Or the list of people they want to speak to before they die. However, suppose the patient cannot travel. In that case, you can arrange a live video conference or ask the person to visit the patient.

Cope with Terminal Illness: Key Takeaways

There is no denying that life has unpredictable surprises for everyone. One moment everything is going smooth, and the next, you hear the news of your loved one terminal illness. You and your loved one might experience a range of emotions as you learn the shocking news. However, the first thing you need to do is accept the situation to deal with the consequences. That way, you and your loved one can concentrate on living a peaceful time for the time left and prepare for death. Keep in mind; your loved one needs your support at this crucial time more than ever.

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