“We often hear from family members that they find great value in our Guide for Family Caregivers, detailed information on how to handle such common end-of-life symptoms as breathing problems, pain, changes in behavior and sleeplessness. The piece details several signs that may signal a loved one is transitioning from life to death, such as no appetite or urine output, and changes in breathing sounds and patterns.
We encourage people to be a calm presence, to hold the loved ones hand, to call in others who wish to be present, as well as call Hospice for support. Hearing is the final sense to go, so we encourage family members to continue speaking to their loved one, reassuring that everything is all right.
‘What we are trying to do is normalize what they are going through,’ says Joel. Death, after all, is not an aberration but a universal end we all one day meet. ‘We want the family members to know what the very end of life looks like and what they can do when the time comes. What can they do? Literally, just hold your loved one’s hand’.”