Tag: care for the dying

End of life signs

Recognizing when Death is Near: Planning for End-of-Life Care

It can be just as difficult to predict the exact time that someone will die as it to predict exactly when a baby will be born. However, there are signs you can watch for that will help you prepare mentally, emotionally and physically for this big change in your family’s life when end-of-life care is needed. As you care for your loved who may be near death, look for normal signs like these: Losing interest in and becoming less responsive to what is going on around them Sleeping or seeming drowsy most of the time Eating and drinking less than usual or not at all Irregular breathing, including noisy or gurgling sounds, sometimes called a “death rattle” Talking to someone who has already died A brief surge of energy and clarity of mind The loved ones of a person who is dying want to know what they can do to make the person more comfortable. Even though a dying person may seem unconscious, many professional caregivers think hearing may still be functional. Continue talking to your loved one. Express your love, hold their hand and reassure them that they can go when they are ready. Take advantage of a brief period of consciousness to say final goodbyes. Even though my father couldn’t talk, we put the phone up to his ear to let out-of-town family members talk to him. He seemed to respond to hearing their voices. Don’t try to force food or water. Going without food or water is not uncomfortable. Swallowing may also be a problem, especially for people with dementia. A conscious decision to give up food can be part of a person’s acceptance that death is near. If the person’s mouth seems dry, just swab it with water and apply lip balm. A “death rattle” may

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