The care that is provided to a family member who has a terminal illness includes many different aspects. Besides medical care, taking care of an ill loved one can include adjusting the physical environment, assisting with daily tasks, giving emotional support, running practical errands, ensuring financial resources, and comforting the loved one as he/she makes sense of his/her life experiences. Different members of the family can play different roles to support the ill loved one.
If you are taking care of a terminally-ill loved one at home, your involvement and support can evolve every day according to his/her needs and capability. A loved one will benefit from contributing and participating more in their own care when he/she is able to. This will allow the loved one to feel more independent and useful at the end of life. On the other hand, he/she will be more supported by more assistance from family members and caregivers when his/her physical, mental, or emotional condition deteriorates.
Family members have to prepare themselves mentally for the eventuality of the loved one’s passing. The journey can be a difficult one when you see your loved one deteriorate. You may ask yourself, “Am I making the right decisions? Is my loved one as comfortable as he/she can be?” There can be feelings of doubt, guilt and apprehension. Although these feelings are normal, do acknowledge the good that your loved one has experienced while receiving care at home. While providing comfort care to a loved one at home, we can only try our best to ensure the loved one’s quality of life.