The holidays can bring mixed emotions to families that are facing increased caregiving for a loved one. No one likes to think this may be the last holiday together, yet in some cases you know it’s a strong possibility.
When illness is chronic and prolonged, or when frailty and old age impact the quality of life, there are measures we can take so that death is a dignified and comfortable process.
Making these decisions isn’t easy. In some cases, the patient doesn’t wish to discuss it. In others, family and friends may have difficulty accepting the inevitable. But starting a conversation around end-of-life issues can give a person an increased feeling of control. And in some cases make people with long-term illnesses feel better.
Watching someone you love slip away can be an overwhelming process. Of course you want to do everything possible to keep that person with you for as long as possible. It’s difficult knowing where to begin.
In most cases, the earlier you think about the process, consider your options and your feelings, the easier it is to discuss your options with those you love. It can help clarify decisions about the end of life process. It can ensure everyone has a chance to air their values, beliefs, hopes and fears. [Read more…]