It’s never easy to be with someone that you love as they near the end of their life. There are so many things you may still want to say or to do and time is growing shorter. Watching for some of these signs can help you to prepare for that time coming sooner than you might have thought.
An Increase in Pain
Pain becomes a much bigger issue as your senior comes closer to passing away. If she’s already experienced chronic pain or the illness she’s dying from, such as cancer, causes increasing amounts of pain then your senior may experience even more pain. This can be upsetting for you and other family members to witness.
Sleep Patterns Are Different
Most people have a general pattern of being awake and asleep. In someone who is nearing the end of life, however, that pattern may be dramatically different. Your senior may be awake earlier than usual or she may be sleeping far more than she has in the past. These changes can be surprising for everyone involved.
Hunger and Thirst Disappear
As your senior’s body starts to shut down, she may no longer be as hungry or as thirsty as she has been in the past. You might even find that she isn’t interested in eating at all. This can feel like something that you should worry about, but it can be less of a concern than you realize.
Resting Vitals and Temperature Change
Certain vital statistics, like your senior’s blood pressure and heart right, may change as she nears the end of her life. Her resting body temperature might be lower than normal, too. All of this is part of the body’s process as systems start to shut down. Sometimes increases in medication can also contribute to these changes.
Your elderly family member might seem to be more confused as the end comes closer, too. She may have been very aware of her surroundings, but then suddenly she’s mixing up names or uncertain whether it’s morning or evening. These changes can be upsetting for you and for other family members, but it’s important to just roll with them as much as you can.
It’s normal for you and for other family members to feel uncertain about this stage of your senior’s life. Hospice care providers can help you to understand what you’re seeing and what those signs mean. They can also help you to figure out what the best plan is to help your senior to remain as comfortable as possible at this stage of her life.
If you or an aging parent are considering hospice care in Philadelphia, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.