End of Life Care: Making the Most of the Time You Have

While some 55 million people die worldwide every year, about 10 percent occur quickly and unexpectedly. Most often, there is an end-of-life process over a duration, such as when one is given a terminal diagnosis.

It’s difficult to face the prospect that your life is coming to an end. However, when the time comes, we all want to ease the emotional and physical pain as much as possible. With people living longer than ever, we may have the technology to prolong life, but quality of life is important too.

You can make the most of the time you have left by knowing the best way to deal with issues that tend to arise in the final stage of life.

Say What Needs To Be Said

While it might seem as if it would be better to die instantly, such as in a head-on collision, for example, the reality is that for survivors, grief can be compounded as they recall things they wish they’d said but will never get the chance to do so.

During the time you have left, be sure to tell your family members and friends the things you’d like them to know. Have conversations about your shared memories, tell them you love them, or anything else that might be important for closure. Discuss honestly and openly how you’re feeling and let them do the same. 

Make It Count

You’ve probably heard the term “make every day count.” This is more important now than ever before. Most of us live a fast-paced life, taking care of day-to-day tasks, hurrying from one thing to another without making the most of the moment. The most memorable usually don’t just happen on an exotic trip or by taking part in some important event, it’s the everyday moments, like your dog greeting you after a long day at work. 

Take time to watch the sunset every evening, listen to the songs of the birds, hug your loved ones. Do whatever you need to do to find those simple moments of joy. Of course, if you have items on a wish list that you’ve always wanted to do and are able to do them, go for it.

Plan For The Most Comfortable Death Possible

Dying on your own terms as comfortably as possible, including where you wish to die, is important. While the extent and nature of our condition and treatment methods play a part in this decision, there are many options available today.

Many people prefer dying in a place that’s familiar, choosing hospice care at home, while others choose a nursing home, hospital, or outside hospice facility in order to receive more skilled treatment. Once you’ve decided what you prefer, talk to your loved ones and healthcare providers to ensure that it’s viable.

Develop a Support Network

You’ll need a support network as your illness progresses, bringing mental, emotional, and/or physical changes. There’s likely to come a time, if it hasn’t already, that you’ll need help with daily tasks like preparing meals, washing the dishes, doing laundry, and paying bills. Ideally, there will be someone who can help, if not, you may need to hire assistance or turn to social services. 

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