End of life: Managing mental and emotional needs
- Provide physical contact. Try holding hands or a gentle massage.
- Set a comforting mood. Some people prefer quiet moments with less people.
- Play music at a low volume. This can help with relaxation and lessen pain.
- Involve the dying person.
- Be present.
What do hospice patients want most at the end of life?
So what do dying people want? In short: truth, touch and time. They want others — family, friends and physicians — to be truthful with them in all respects, whether discussing the disease process, treatment options or personal relationships. They want truth but not at the expense of reassurance and hope.
What to do for someone who has terminal cancer?
Although each person with cancer is different, here are some general suggestions for showing support:
- Ask permission. Before visiting, giving advice, and asking questions, ask if it is welcome.
- Make plans.
- Be flexible.
- Laugh together.
- Allow for sadness.
- Check in.
- Offer to help.
- Follow through.
How do you bring joy to someone who is dying?
Keep it general and upbeat. Touch their hand lightly and make eye contact, let them know how much you care about them and how happy you are to see them. Ask if there is anything they might like that you could bring them, maybe a photo of your garden, or your children, or some nice lotion for their hands.
What not to do when someone is dying?
It is common to worry about saying the wrong thing. Most times, the person who is dying will find comfort in you just being there. Listen to what the person who is dying tells you. Try not to prompt an answer that confirms what you think or your hope that things could be better.
What can I do for a terminally ill friend?
You can encourage the person who is dying to share their feelings, and you can share your own in return. You can tell them what they mean to you and how you might remember them. The person nearing the end of life may want to make a legacy, such as writing their life story or letters to family and friends.