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FAQ: How Do You Support Someone In Hospice Care?

How can you help someone in hospice?

More ways to be a good hospice visitor:

  1. Call ahead and ask when you should come.
  2. Sit, don’t stand.
  3. Greet as you always have: an air kiss, a big hug, a handshake.
  4. If the patient is very sick, they may face away from you, close their eyes or be unresponsive.
  5. Talk about shared memories.

What do you say to someone in hospice care?

Other Things You Can Say

Also words like “forgive me” or “I forgive you,” provide an important emotional healing for the patient and the family. “Thank you for what you have meant to me,” and “I love you” are also treasured by hospice patients.

What are the first signs of your body shutting down?

You may notice their:

  • Eyes tear or glaze over.
  • Pulse and heartbeat are irregular or hard to feel or hear.
  • Body temperature drops.
  • Skin on their knees, feet, and hands turns a mottled bluish-purple (often in the last 24 hours)
  • Breathing is interrupted by gasping and slows until it stops entirely.
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What do dying patients want?

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 comforting words to someone that is dying?

Examples

  • “I know this wasn’t an easy decision to make.
  • “I don’t like this, but we’re going to do our best with this time.”
  • “I’m sad, of course, but I’m also glad you’re in a place where you don’t have to fight so hard anymore.”
  • “I’m praying for you to feel at peace and to know how much you’re loved.”

How do you talk to a dying person?

Placing your hand gently on the person’s hand, shoulder or head can be a tender way of saying, “I am here. You are not alone.” Continue to talk to the person even when she or he is no longer able to respond to you. The dying person will sense your presence and hear your voice.

What do you say to someone who is seriously ill?

DO say, “I really admire how you are handling this. I know it’s difficult.” A little sympathy and a compliment are almost always welcome. DO say, “It’s okay not to be the perfect sick person.” Patients can feel a lot of pressure to “be strong” “stay positive” or “fight hard”, even when they’re feeling sad and weak.

What is the last organ to die in a dying person?

The brain and nerve cells require a constant supply of oxygen and will die within a few minutes, once you stop breathing. The next to go will be the heart, followed by the liver, then the kidneys and pancreas, which can last for about an hour. Skin, tendons, heart valves and corneas will still be alive after a day.

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What organ shuts down first?

The first organ system to “close down” is the digestive system. Digestion is a lot of work! In the last few weeks, there is really no need to process food to build new cells.

Can a dying person cry?

It’s uncommon, but it can be difficult to watch when it happens. Instead of peacefully floating off, the dying person may cry out and try to get out of bed. Their muscles might twitch or spasm. We squirm and cry out coming into the world, and sometimes we do the same leaving it.

Should you give a dying person water?

Family members and caregivers play an important role by supporting a loved one through the dying process: If the patient can still eat or drink, offer small sips of water/liquids, ice chips, hard candy or very small amounts of food via spoon.

What should you not say to a dying person?

What not to say to someone who is dying

  • Don’t ask ‘How are you?’
  • Don’t just focus on their illness.
  • Don’t make assumptions.
  • Don’t describe them as ‘dying
  • Don’t wait for them to ask.

Why does a dying person linger?

When a person’s body is ready and wanting to stop, but the person is still unresolved or unreconciled over some important issue or with some significant relationship, he or she may tend to linger in order to finish whatever needs finishing even though he or she may be uncomfortable or debilitated.

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