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Providing in-home comfort for elderly with terminal illness terminal illness can be challenging. Their needs and demands are far more complex than their healthier peers, not to mention they can be emotionally sensitive. What happens when these individuals are cared for at home instead of in skilled nursing facilities?

The world is seeing a rise in the number of seniors. Society is in a state where there are as many older people as younger ones. While this doesn’t impose much concern as individuals, it can pose many questions from the medical and healthcare perspective. If more elderly persons need help, who will be willing and available to help them?

As people age, their bodies weaken, making them more susceptible to illnesses and life-altering conditions. This is why there’s a significant effort in encouraging people to strive and stay as active and healthy as possible, even from younger ages. Once people reach their 60s, they hope their bodies remain healthy and strong, ensuring their security, independence, and continued productivity, allowing them to have a quality life. Unfortunately, millions of people, especially the elderly, still struggle with health-related challenges like chronic disease, terminal illness, and behavioral issues influencing their quality of life despite these efforts. And as these seniors encounter these problems, they’re commonly faced with a complicated decision.

There are two options for families and their elder loved ones.  If the diagnosis is a serious illness or advanced age, they can opt to enter into a senior care facility where they will receive treatment; or they can remain at home and receive in-home treatment for their condition.  In either case, consent is required from both the patient and family members. Comfort for elderly with terminal illness

Assisting Elders with Terminal Illness

When elders suffer from complications and health problems, they will most receive a diagnosis in medical facilities, with clinicians and nurses treating them. Hospice care was created to provide care and comfort for a terminally ill individual. Hospice care can be provided in a facility setting or in-home with the same care and comfort. Families may choose hospice care to be provided in a facility for any number of reasons.  For instance, careers and young children in a home may not be the best environment for terminally ill patients to receive care.  On the other hand, in-home hospice care is provided with a team of people who work closely with the family to provide treatment as well as counseling for the eventual loss of a loved one.

However, assisting a family member suffering from a terminal illness can be challenging. Above the physical and mental strength, family members need to be emotionally prepared in order to provide comfort and care.

Possibility of Spiraling Down

Depression is a common problem and pattern for older people. How much more will they have to endure with the strain and stress of a terminal illness? There is the potential their depression will deepen.  Often they will express feeling like a burden to those around them. It is incumbent for family members to reassure them that, together, they will face the circumstances.  Family support is the key to avoiding deeper depression.

Providing an in-home care depressed seniors will be more beneficial. This helps make them feel more at ease asking for help since they’re with family instead of strangers. Being with their loved ones will also reduce their risk of developing depression by being in a loving atmosphere within their families. Quality in-home senior care through rehabilitation and therapeutic services is often a better option than medical facilities providing professional services.

Individual’s Emotional State

Caring for someone with a terminal illness comes with a personal burden for the caregiver. At this stage of caregiving, the caregiver’s focus turns to their elder loved one and forgetting themselves.  The professionals remind caregivers to take care of their needs as well, but the reality is that it is not always possible.

Practical Tasks

Everyday tasks can become difficult for someone with a terminal illness. What may seem easy and mundane to ordinary people may be taxing for these individuals. Caregivers will know when to ask if the patient needs assistance with a task. It is always preferred to get the patient’s consent, but sometimes ensuring their safety means acting without their consent. At this stage of an illness, caregivers know when the time is right to offer assistance.

In Eleanor Gaccetta’s book, One Caregiver’s Journey, she offers insight into the dynamics of this delicate time of caregiving.  Her book is a memoir of caring for her mother who passed away in her home at the age of 102.  Her mother received in-home hospice care and the book is a snapshot into the realities of the changes and challenges of caregiving over nearly a decade.