How to care for a dying parent

How to care for a dying parentAs a hospice chaplain, I have the unique opportunity of sharing very meaningful experiences with patients. My primary role is to be a listener to a patient’s life story, addressing spirituality and faith as it is welcomed by the person I serve. As I come to know a patient’s faith tradition, I offer various practices that, hopefully, enhance that patient’s connection to what he or she considers divine.

One of these practices is prayer. Since my faith tradition teaches that the only genuine faith is a freely chosen faith, I approach hospice prayers very carefully. Some patients welcome my visit, but consider prayer too personal or sacred to practice in my presence. More than a few patients have declined my praying in their presence, but express appreciation when I say, “That’s fine. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

To patients who welcome prayer, I seek first to honor their faith tradition’s prayer practices. For example, I often say to a Roman Catholic patient, “I’m going to pray for you right now,” after which we’ll close our visit with a saying of the “Our Father.” Or when a Jewish patient has welcomed prayer, I will choose a prayer text from the Psalms in the Hebrew Bible.

Prayers for the Dying

As with many of my chaplain colleagues, I often pray extemporaneous, more conversational prayers with my patients. While my intention is to be more spontaneous in the wording of such prayers, I often use similar phrases that honor most faith traditions while resonating with my own spirituality.

The following is a typical prayer I use with most hospice patients:

“God, thank you for being with us right now. We confess that we don’t understand why things happen the way they do. We don’t understand why illness comes into our lives, but we do know that you walk every path of life with us. Remind Joe that you are walking with him right now. Remind Joe that you love him, no matter what he is going through. I also pray for Joe’s family. Give them your strength as they care for Joe. God, we thank you that you never leave us, that you never forsake us, but you love us. We trust you, and pray this in your name. Amen.”

The above prayer has some key thoughts that I hope my hospice patient will hear:

  1. God is always present with us, even when we may not be experiencing that presence.
  2. As a chaplain, I don’t pretend to have the answers. I join with my patient in asking the “whys.”
  3. God is with my hospice patient, especially in suffering.
  4. Caregivers also experience God’s presence in caring for their loved one.
  5. I affirm my personal trust in God even when none of us have the answers.

It goes without saying that extemporaneous prayers often reflect who we are and open us up to our patients. It is my hope that the hospice patients I am privileged to serve hear who I am and what I believe when I pray for them.

My desire is that they may experience God with them when they allow me to pray.

Barry Pennington, DMin, BCC
Chaplain

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care provides complimentary grief recovery groups in all the communities we serve. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about our grief support program.

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Active dying is the final phase of the dying process. While the pre-active stage lasts for about three weeks, the active stage of dying lasts roughly three days. By definition, actively dying patients are very close to death, and exhibit many signs and symptoms of near-death. For instance, actively dying patients are often times unresponsive, and their blood pressure often drops significantly.

Below is a list of some of the typical signs of active dying. While a patient may not experience all of the signs below, this list will help the patient’s loved ones and caregivers in recognizing and defining active dying. Additionally, if you have more questons about “what is active dying” and how to identify the process, you can talk to an expert by choosing one of the options in the blue bar above.

What are the symptoms of active dying?

The signs and symptoms of active dying include:

  • Long pauses in breathing; patient’s breathing patterns may also be very irregular
  • Blood pressure drops significantly
  • Patient’s skin changes color (mottling) and their extremities may feel cold to the touch
  • Patient is in a coma, or semi-coma, or cannot be awoken
  • Urinary and bowel incontinence and/or decrease in urine; urine may also be discolored
  • Hallucinations, delirium, and agitation
  • Build-up of fluid in the lungs, which may cause unusual gurgling sounds

Predicting active dying.

While understanding what to expect by learning the signs and symptoms of active dying can be helpful, predicting active dying is still difficult. As stated previously, a patient may not exhibit all the signs above. In some cases, the patient may actually state that he or she is dying. Often times the patient’s position will become rigid, indicating the time of death has approached.

As a loved one and/or caregiver of the patient, it’s important that you talk with the nurses and physicians regarding their condition. They can help in identifying when someone is indeed actively dying, and explain additional ways to help you and your loved one.

If you haven’t done so already, we recommend contacting a hospice provider who can help your loved one by addressing their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs at the end-of-life.

End-of-Life signs by disease.

Learn about the specific end-of-life signs of common diseases and illnesses:

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By Scott Schmidt on November 27, 2021.

A story this week highlighted data released by the Ministry of Children’s Services showing 34 deaths since April 1 among children, youth or young adults receiving government service intervention.

That total equals the record set in the fiscal year of 2020/21, and with four months before April 1, there’s little doubt a new high will be reached.

Much deserved criticism has been doled out to the United Conservatives in recent days because the government pressed forward on a promise to lower maximum age of eligibility for the Support and Financial Assistance Agreement, from 24 to 22. Two young Indigenous single mothers took Alberta to court over the change, suggesting the move will inevitably lead to deaths among youth being transitioned out of the program.

The word ‘transitioned’ is important because the government, namely Children Services Minister Rebecca Schulz, has repeatedly claimed sufficient adult benefits are available to those coming off SFAA.

Of course, if youths moving to adult services were going to receive equal support there would be no reason to make the move. And we know the UCP isn’t doing this to increase resources directed their way, so one could understand moms fretting over consequences.

The province prevailed in court in January and an appeal was rejected in June, leading to an Alberta full of fingers pointed at the continued cruelty of the UCP. And now, with the report this week, we have evidence clearly showing the move was deadly.

Except, is it really this open and shut? Is this nothing more than the UCP failing Albertans again? Do we just conclude this government hates kids and move on?

Not so fast, perhaps.

It’s absolutely true cutting SFAA back two years is a stupid idea, which saves no substantial money while unquestionably putting hundreds of Alberta youth (mostly Indigenous) at further risk. But if I worked communications for Children’s Services, I might remind Albertans a whole lot of kids died on the NDP’s watch between 2015 and 2019. And if I were the former government now in Opposition, I might choose words carefully when discussing this story.

Sure, Albertans love to hate the UCP right now and will no doubt jump on Twitter threads to say what NDP MLAs want to hear, but if they haven’t been asked the question yet, allow me to be the first to pose it.

Would you care to comment on the 114 children, youth or young adults who died while receiving government supports during the four years the NDP was in government? You oversaw 33 deaths in 2017/2018 and another 33 in 2018/2019 — records at the time. Did those kids die because of the UCP as well, or is it possible we’re dealing with a systemic failure beyond simply, “Kenney bad”?

It’s way too easy to chalk up this year’s death rate to lowering ages for SFAA — of the four recorded deaths this month, two were literally babies. Spiking deaths under the UCP among youths over 18 lends weight to the argument, but during the last two years of the NDP, 30 children under five died, compared to 23 during two years under the UCP.

Deaths among teenagers were also higher under the NDP’s second half (20) than under the UCP’s first (15). If the Official Opposition’s only play here is to blame Jason Kenney and Rebecca Schulz, then it’s nothing more than a political ploy that won’t in any way help the children who desperately need it.

Instead of selfish political jockeying over what turned out to be 15 seconds of research to prove you both suck, maybe spend some time talking about why kids in government care die at more than double the rate of kids still in their homes.

Since 2012, 73 kids have died while not only receiving government support but while actually in some type of government care. During the same period that number dropped to 33 among kids left in their home, with their parent(s).

Just how badly do we want to be known for taking kids from homes ‘for their own good’ only to see them die? Because, in case you’ve been away for a few years, Canada’s track record for this is disgusting.

While we’re at it, why don’t you also explain why, among all deaths recorded, by far the deadliest category is those considered to be in their “initial assessment,” which is literally the time period when the government assesses the need for support? Because since 2012, 109 of those families needed support before their government finished deciding if they were worthy of it.

And yes, you should also take a look at kids over 18 in the SFAA program, because in five years between 2012 and 2017, 12 of them died, but in less than five years since (and before the UCP’s SFAA decision) that number has ballooned to 53. Maybe one of our political leaders would like to explain to the two Indigenous moms why they went to court to lose a fight for a program increasingly more likely to fail them anyway.

A shade over 60% of all these deaths over the past decade have been Indigenous kids receiving ‘support’, yet we force their mothers into courtrooms to protect it. Par for a two-century-old course, I guess.

And since these are just the kids we ‘try’ to help, these numbers should, and hopefully do, make people sick — but imagine the death among those who don’t even receive a supportive glance.

So, while I support the push to see SFAA eligibility where it has always been, we owe (and the NDP certainly owe) these kids so much more than finger-pointing tweets at the current government.

Perhaps start with, “Sorry we didn’t fix it when the current government was us.”

How to care for a dying parent

“What gift should I give my loved one this year if they’re currently in home hospice care?” You can’t help but ponder this question as Christmas approaches. You want to get something thoughtful since your loved one may not have much time left. But, at the same time, you’re having a hard time figuring this out.

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What Kind of Christmas Gift Do You Give Someone Who’s Dying?

Coming up with loving and comforting gift ideas for someone who’s dying isn’t easy, but don’t panic. Below, you’ll find five presents your loved one is sure to enjoy.

While reading through the list, though, remember: you care and want to get the right gift. But don’t overthink it. Your parent, grandparent, spouse, child, sibling, relative, elder, or friend will likely welcome your gift choice with delight.

1. A Family Scrapbook Album

What better way to bring back family memories than by creating a scrapbook album for gifting?

Don’t limit your scrapbook to only photos of yourself, your loved one, and your family members. You can also include:

  • Drawings
  • Engravings
  • Letters
  • Journal Entries
  • Poems
  • Postcards
  • (Family) Quotes and Sayings
  • Souvenirs

You might find it helpful to organize your scrapbook album by transitions and milestones such as weddings and marriages, birth and death announcements and certificates, graduations and awards, work and retirement, events and celebrations.

Gifting your loved one with a scrapbook will provide the opportunity for reflection and affection this Christmas.

2. An Embroidered Blanket

A blanket is a comforting gift choice for your loved one who may feel cold often.

If you decide on a blanket, then why not also consider one embroidered with meaningful words?

Remember, your kind words and caring actions are beneficial during this time. National Institutes of Health research * shows: “As terminal illness progresses, patients often need family members to help refocus hope despite the inevitability of death.”

An embroidered blanket can play an important role in the refocusing process. It can express encouraging and comforting thoughts for you. And, your loved one is likely to cherish these thoughts throughout the day—every day.

3. A Package of Comforting Sleep Items

Is your loved one dealing with sleep disruptions caused by anxiety, noise, temperature, or light?

You can buy comfortable sleep items.

Following are a few to consider for inclusion in your package:

  • Nightwear. Fitted and soft sleepwear clothing, such as pajamas or gowns, assist with comfort and warmth throughout the night.
  • Eye Mask. A comfortably fitting eye mask blocks light from both eyes, resulting in a better sleep experience.
  • Ear Plugs. If your loved one is at a hospital, a comfortable pair of silicone ear plugs can block out unwanted noise and improve the possibility of a good night’s sleep.
  • Quality Pillow. A pillow plays an important role in whether you wake up exhausted or refreshed. Want to help your loved one achieve the latter? A soft and comfy pillow would prove beneficial.
  • Socks. Research shows it’s harder to sleep with cold feet. Fluffy socks, though, helps warm the feet. Consider getting kooky, fun colors and designs, but be careful to have your loved one use them only for bed because fluffy ones could increase the risk for falls.

4. A Sentimental Card and Care Package

Finding the right words to say to someone who’s terminally ill is a challenge, but don’t let this hold you back from communicating with your loved one this holiday season.

Instead, bring or send a greeting card. A greeting card—with an emphatic or thank you sentiment personalized with your thoughts and notes—might give your loved one a much-needed pick-me-up for the day.

Along with your sentimental card, you can also gift your loved one with a care package. Useful items for care packages include:

  • Natural, allergy- and fragrant-free lotions, soaps, creams, washes, and gels
  • Art supplies, journal notebooks, and crossword puzzles
  • Chap sticks
  • Dry shampoos
  • Essential oils and salts
  • Gift cards and/or certificates
  • Lip balms
  • Mints
  • Slippers
  • Washcloths

5. A Human Connection

The most valuable gift you can give to someone who’s dying is your time, presence, and attention.

This gift goes beyond materialism and creates a memorable experience. It provides a face-to-face opportunity to show and express your love. Assist with activities of daily living. Hold hands and hug. Ask questions and listen well. Reminisce on past memories and experiences. Listen to uplifting and soothing music. Engage in a social activity. Sit in silence. All without technological distractions and interruptions.

Spending quality time, though a small act, will provide your loved one with:

  • Personalized connection and companionship
  • Great comfort
  • Emotional support

And guess what? It won’t cost you any money.

Time to Get a Gift for Your Terminally Ill Loved One

If you’ve been wondering what to buy your terminally ill loved one this Christmas, then you might find this gift idea list helpful.

You want to give your loved one something thoughtful and meaningful. Something comfortable and supportive. And, you can’t go wrong with these gifts: a family scrapbook album, an embroidered blanket, a package of comforting sleep items, a sentimental card and care package, and a human connection.

See one or more of these gifts as fitting for your relative or friend? Now, it’s time to get your gift together and enjoy Christmas with the person you love.

How to care for a dying parent

Banana trees are amazing plants to grow in the home landscape. Not only are they beautiful tropical specimens, but most of them bear edible banana tree fruit. If you have ever seen or grown banana plants, then you may have noticed banana trees dying after bearing fruit. Why do banana trees die after fruiting? Or do they really die after harvesting?

Do Banana Trees Die After Harvest?

The simple answer is yes. Banana trees do die after harvest. Banana plants take around nine months to grow up and produce banana tree fruit, and then once the bananas have been harvested, the plant dies. It sounds almost sad, but that isn’t the entire story.

Reasons for Banana Tree Dying After Bearing Fruit

Banana trees, actually perennial herbs, are comprised of a succulent, juicy “pseudostem” that is actually a cylinder of leaf sheaths which can grow up to 20-25 feet (6 to 7.5 m.) in height. They rise up from a rhizome or corm.

Once the plant has fruited, it dies back. This is when suckers, or infant banana plants, begin to grow from around the base of the parent plant. The aforementioned corm has growing points that turn into new suckers. These suckers (pups) can be removed and transplanted to grow new banana trees and one or two can be left to grow in place of the parent plant.

So, you see, although the parent tree dies back, it is replaced by baby bananas almost immediately. Because they are growing from the corm of the parent plant, they will be just like it in every respect. If your banana tree is dying after bearing fruit, don’t worry. In another nine months, the baby banana trees will be all grown up like the parent plant and ready to present you with another succulent bunch of bananas.

How to care for a dying parent

A chaplain holding a sign in support of long-term care workers in New Hope, Minnesota.

En español | More than 43,000 long-term care residents and staff have died from COVID-19, representing over a third of the nation’s known coronavirus deaths, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation tally. While dire, this figure is an undercount, experts warn, because not all states are publicly reporting data yet. In many states more than half of coronavirus deaths are connected to long-term care facilities.

Although each state is required to report confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — and individual facilities are required to report that information to residents and their families — they are not required to share these publicly. Some states, therefore, are choosing not to.

Most states are releasing some information on nursing home cases and deaths. But “it’s truly a patchwork of inconsistent data,” says Elaine Ryan, AARP vice president for state advocacy and strategy integration. The same goes for assisted living and other types of long-term care facilities, which, unlike nursing homes, are regulated by the states.

Some states are reporting the names of facilities with cases and deaths; others are releasing just the total number across all long-term care facilities. Certain states monitor all types of long-term care facilities, but others track only nursing homes. Some report daily; others, weekly. In short, the variations are huge.

On June 4 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted its first set of federal COVID-19 nursing home data on a new website. Although it captures data from all states, 12 percent of the nation’s 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid homes have not submitted figures for the count. New data is slated for June 18; however, the CMS plans to release just weekly updates after that.

AARP is advocating for consistent daily updates. “There’s a serious problem in these facilities,” Ryan says, “and we need to know where the outbreaks are so we can target additional resources to help save lives.”

Our list tells you which states are publicly reporting, what they are reporting and how to find the information. Many of the states are updating their data more frequently than the CMS website, so it is wise to check both. Note: We are updating this list as new data become available. Delays in updates are common, so check the time stamp when looking at this information.

Complicated grief often results in attempts to self-medicate.

Posted September 27, 2017 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma

THE BASICS

  • Understanding Grief
  • Find a therapist to heal from grief

How to care for a dying parent

I became an orphan when I was 52 years old. Despite my age and professional experience, my father’s death changed me forever. People say it is like losing a part of yourself, but I felt like my anchor to my identity was what had been severed.

Shock, numbness, denial, anger, sadness, and despair are the feelings most people cycle through after the loss of a loved one. These emotions can persist in varying degrees for many months afterward. Most people experience these feelings in stages that occur in no particular order, but diminish in intensity over time. My personal fog didn’t seem to lift for more than six months. No matter how long it takes, many people around you may get impatient for you to feel better sooner than you do. Yet some people continue experiencing intense emotions for years after the loss, and that sustained grief can have cognitive, social, cultural, and spiritual effects.

The Link Between Grief, Addiction, and Mental Illness

Studies show that losing a parent can lead to increased risks for long-term emotional and mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. This is especially true if a person doesn’t receive ample support during their bereavement and, if they are young when a parent dies, stable and consistent surrogate parenting. Losing a parent in childhood significantly raises the risk of developing mental health issues, and about one in 20 children aged 15 and younger have suffered the loss of one or both parents.

Another factor that influences the development of mental health issues is the person’s perception of their closeness to the deceased and how much the loss changes their lives. This is not to say that people don’t experience feelings of grief if they lose a parent they didn’t feel close to, get along with, or know well—that loss may still be felt quite deeply.

Survey data on the long-term effects of parental loss indicate that filial bereavement can impact both mental and physical health, with men being more likely to report physical health issues. Data also show that gender influences the impact of parental death—men who lose their father appear to experience the loss more keenly than daughters, while women who lose their mother appear to be more deeply impacted than sons.

Grief Interventions: When You Need Help Recovering from Loss

Research into attachment theory and bereavement theory has led to the development of grief interventions that help people heal from a loss. Grief interventions are most effective when they focus on the bereaved individual’s personal resources and capacity for enhancing their own resilience, as well as on palliative care from primary care providers and family members in the months after the loss. When a person experiences complicated grief or sustained grief—grief that persists long after the months following a death—additional interventions and evaluation for mental health issues may be warranted.

Since everyone processes loss in their own way and on their own individual timeline, it can be difficult to recognize when and if feelings of loss have developed into complicated grief. Also known as persistent complex bereavement disorder, this more protracted form of grief is usually marked by emotions so severe, painful, and long-lasting that a person cannot seem to accept the loss and move forward to resume life, even many months or years afterward.

The stages of recovery after the death of a loved one typically involve allowing yourself to experience the pain of your loss, which gradually gives way to accepting the reality of it and finding a way to move forward. The healing process also involves finding it possible, in time, to enjoy other relationships. If you continue to experience a heightened focus on reminders of your loved one that triggers intense pain, grief counseling can be helpful.

THE BASICS

  • Understanding Grief
  • Find a therapist to heal from grief

A grief counselor provides support as people talk about their sadness, frustration or anger and learn to cope with and process these feelings. Family counseling can also help. The death of a parent can revive past hurts or resentments or alter family relationships and dynamics. A family therapist can help address old and new conflicts, and teach constructive ways to heal relationships and resolve problems.

There are also grief support groups that can help people feel less isolated in their loss. These groups can be found in local communities as well as online via grief support organizations and forums. Complicated grief often results in attempts to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. In these cases, both issues can be addressed simultaneously at a dual diagnosis drug rehab center.

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How to Help Someone in Grief This Holiday Season

Self-care is also important after a loss. You will be better able to process your grief if you don’t hide from your feelings, thoughts, and memories. Take good care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, and taking time to grieve and rest. Be patient with yourself and with your grieving loved ones. Grieving is a personal process, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

Noting small changes in your cat’s health and behavior can help tip you off that something is wrong and enable you to help your beloved cat through her final days.

Our cats are part of our family, and we love their imperious looks and playful bops with a paw, not to mention their deep throaty purrs. But sooner or later, the time will come for you to part, and often this time can take us by surprise since cats are good at hiding their pain.

Although it can be so difficult to see your cat suffering in any capacity, keeping an eye out for these symptoms can help you recognize when your cat needs extra care and comfort, and could help to identify an issue early enough to extend her quality of life a bit longer.

Signs Your Cat Could Be Dying

Cats are notoriously good at hiding injuries and illnesses. In the wild, this is a great survival instinct, as showing any sign of weakness makes a cat a potential target for predators and rivals. But with our pet cats, this can present a challenge for us loving caretakers who want to help our kitties through any illness or discomfort. We must watch our cats closely and pay attention to subtle changes that indicate that something is wrong.

Many of the signs that your cat is nearing the end of her life are also common symptoms of illnesses, such as chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, cancer, and diabetes mellitus. The first step when you notice that something is wrong with your cat is to have her examined by your veterinarian. Between the exam and any diagnostics that are performed, your vet can tell you if your cat has a condition that can be treated or if the prognosis is more grim.

Extreme Weight Loss

Weight loss is very common in senior cats. Some of this is due to normal muscle loss: as your cat ages, her body becomes less efficient at digesting and building protein, causing her to lose muscle mass. Your cat may be eating well but still lose weight.

Over time, the weight loss may become extreme. Some old or sick cats can become extremely thin, with their ribs, spine, and hip bones protruding under their skin. Cachexia is a particular form of extreme weight loss caused by cancer, in which the rapidly dividing cancer cells demand so much energy that the body breaks down its fat stores and muscle for fuel. Cats with hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney disease also often experience weight loss.

Extra Hiding

Hiding is the telltale sign of illness in cats, but can be hard to define. Many cats hide a lot normally. Things to watch for include increased hiding, hiding in new places, and not wanting to come out even for routine positive events like mealtimes.

Planning for your final days is hard, but it's an invaluable gift to caregivers and loved ones

by Amy Goyer and Andy Markowitz, AARP, Updated October 14, 2021

Dying is a universal experience. Nearly everyone has a story about a good death or a hard death among those they love. The difference between these experiences may rest on whether we have shared our wishes for how we want to spend our final days.

How we want to die is the most important and costly conversation Americans aren’t having. Consider these facts:

    Ninety percent of people think it is important to talk about end-of-life wishes with their loved ones, but only 27 percent have done so, according to a 2021 study published in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services.

Planning your final days is never easy, but it’s an invaluable gift to your loved ones. These discussions can be among the richest and most intimate that friends and family share. Studies show that when there is a meaningful conversation about end-of-life choices, survivors report feeling less guilt and less depression and having an easier process of grieving.

And thinking through these issues before a medical crisis — at the kitchen table rather than in the intensive care unit — will help you and your loved ones make decisions based on what you value most, without the influence of stress and fear.

Helping families do that is a key goal of the Conversation Project, which Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Ellen Goodman cofounded in 2010 after serving for many years as caregiver for her mother.

Here’s a plan for getting started, drawn from Your Conversation Starter Kit, a downloadable guide developed by the Conversation Project to give people a jumping-off point for this all-important talk and to help them keep it going over time.

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Get ready

It’s fine to spend some time thinking about the conversation before you dive in. As you prepare, ask yourself these questions:

    What do I need to think about or do before I feel ready to have the conversation?

Consider having a practice conversation with a trusted friend, or writing a letter to a loved one (or even to yourself). And remember that the conversation might reveal disagreements. That’s OK. You’ll want to discuss those issues now, not during a medical crisis.

Get set

Finish this sentence, or ask your aging loved one to do it:

“What matters to me at the end of life is …"

An example might be “that I am comfortable and at home,” or “that no one has to disrupt their whole life to care for me,” or “that my kids all work together in making decisions.” It might be, “if doctors recommend palliative care, no one pushes for more treatment.”

Sharing a “what matters to me” statement with your family can help them communicate to your doctors what abilities are most important to you and what treatments are, and aren’t, worth pursuing. It can also give your loved ones reassurance that they’re following your wishes.

Give some thought ahead of time to these care issues, for yourself or for a loved one you serve as a caregiver.

    As a patient, how much do you want to know about your condition? Just the basics? All the details? Something in between?

Once you feel ready to share your end-of-life wishes, or to solicit them from a loved one, think about the basics: who, what, where and when.

Breaking the ice

Here are some ways the Conversation Project suggests starting a talk about end-of-life care.

"I need your help with something."

"I need to think about the future. Will you help me?"

“I was thinking about what happened to __________, and it made me realize …"

"Even though I’m OK right now, I’m worried that ________, and I want to be prepared."

"Remember how ________ died? Was that a ‘good’ death or ‘hard’ death? How will yours be different?"

Who should be part of the discussion? The list could include not just particular family members but also friends, doctors, caregivers, members of the clergy or others.

When would be a good time to talk? Do you want to broach the subject at a family gathering — around the holidays, for example? Ahead of major life events like the birth of a child or grandchild, or a kid leaving for college? At the first sign of a significant health problem?

Where would you feel comfortable talking? Around the kitchen table? At a favorite restaurant or park? On a hike or at your place of worship? Choose a setting you think will be conducive to an intimate, open conversation.

What do you want to be sure to say? List the three most important things you want family, friends or doctors to know about your end-of-life wishes and incorporate them into the discussion.

Specific topics to raise might include:

    What do you want the last phase of your life to be like?

This list is a starting point; there may be other issues to think and talk about. Your health care team may be able to suggest additional questions.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to steer the conversation — just let it happen. You don’t have to cover everyone and everything right off the bat. Be patient and give others time to think about what’s being said.

Remember that nothing is set in stone. You and your loved ones can revisit issues as circumstances change. If there are disagreements, try not to judge: A “good death” means different things to different people.

Keep going

Congratulations! You’ve broken the barrier. This initial conversation will hopefully be the first of many. Think about how it went, and how you’d like future talks to go. For example:

    How did it make you feel? What do you want to remember about it?

Another important follow-up to the conversation is putting what you talked about in writing, in legal documents that will ensure those wishes are respected when the time comes.

Create a power of attorney for health care in which you appoint an agent (commonly called a health care proxy) to make medical decisions for you, based on your expressed wishes, if you can no longer speak for yourself.

Create an advance directive that lays out your wishes regarding end-of-life medical care, including what kinds of treatment you do or don’t want.

As a narcissist ages, their behaviour gets more abusive as their sense of entitlement and jealousy grows.

They use their age to manipulate others

There is a certain amount of cultural influence when we consider the attitude to ageing. Older narcissists take advantage of this and expect special treatment from everyone but most of all those closest to them. They will use their age, health and their imminent demise in order to manipulate others.

…..and hate getting older

A narcissist is by nature a jealous person. As their body starts to weaken and they suffer health issues they are reminded of their mortality. They are reminded of their weakness by the youth and vitality of those around them. So, they seek to punish them for it. So as they age, they steadily become more jealous and their behaviour becomes more vile. There is an element of fear in their demise which makes their behaviour worse.

People are tools to the narcissist

Everyone is a narcissist’s tool to serve their purpose, most especially their children. A narcissist will enforce a sense of obligation in their child. This is so that they feel obligated to look after their parent through illness or old age. In fact, I believe, some narcissists have children for a lifetime of on-demand narcissistic supply (attention). And for someone to be utterly subservient to them, their demands and to look after them in old age.

Narcissists expect to be priority to you

The relationships you have with partners, spouses, family members and friends won’t matter to a narcissist. Your life, job and hobbies are not a priority to them. Your physical or mental health is not a worry for them. They are the centre of the world, as far as they are concerned, to you and everyone else. All they care about is whatever they want or need and finding someone to do everything for them. The easiest person to guilt into submission is their child, after a lifetime of expert manipulation.

They use their old age to manipulate

The prospect of their demise is something a narcissist exploits. They know that we care and use it to guilt us into doing exactly as they wish. They will constantly refer to their demise, even if that is years away, in order to manipulate us. Any health tests or screens will be exaggerated, lied about and turned into a drama.

Drama in the family as they are dying

When a narcissist is dying there is sure to be drama. There will be hints and threats over their property and money. Divides between family members will be exploited at this time, to further drive the wedge between them.

Toxic on their death bed

There is no chance of the narcissist on their death bed becoming a nice person. A toxic person in life is a toxic person as they approach death. And a narcissist is incapable of ever changing. They will, in fact, relish the thought of hurting you deeply as they pass away.

Their will becomes their last weapon

After their death and funeral, their will becomes the very last opportunity for the narcissist to spread their poison. Favoured family members will receive more or all of the property. Disliked members may not get anything at all or some trinket, just enough to be insulting. Some malignant narcissists will leave just enough doubt in their will for it to be fought over. Or else they leave no will at all.

Use their property and money to cause resentment

The narcissist will use their property and money to manipulate people in life and so they do so in death. The narcissist will tell multiple family members that they will inherit it all. Then these lies will cause renewed resentment between family members. After all, the narcissist has spent their lifetime manipulating and lying their death and last wishes become an extension of this.

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Most people who have serious illnesses say they would prefer to die at home.

But unfortunately, this is not the case…

Most people die in hospitals.

In fact, in one Dartmouth study, of the patients who wanted to die at home, more than half died in the hospital.

It’s often because people don’t understand their options. They don’t have the info they need to make a decision that aligns with their wishes.

We want to help more people understand what hospice is. And what hospice care at home is. So you, or your loved ones, can get the type of care you need, where you want to receive it.

Here’s what you need to know.

First of all, what is hospice?

Hospice is care that is given to those with six months or less to live.

Hospice care is different from curative care. Curative care seeks to cure or treat the illness. However, with hospice, patients are given comfort care only to manage pain and other symptoms of the illness.

One of the benefits of hospice is that it enables you to be cared for in your own home, surrounded by those you love.

Often, those in hospice care live longer. They also enjoy a much higher quality of life.

One of the benefits of hospice is that it enables you to be cared for in your own home, surrounded by those you love.

What Happens with Hospice Home Care?

First, a patient must be referred to hospice.

You may be surprised to learn that anyone can refer a patient to hospice: a doctor, a relative—or even the patient themselves!

Once you’ve been referred, a hospice team will meet with you and your family. At this time, the benefits of hospice are explained, and a care team is put in place.

This care team consists of many members including:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Nursing assistants
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Chaplains

Once the team is in place, a health care plan is created.

This involves obtaining any needed medical supplies and medications. They’ll also speak with you about hospice insurance and Medicare benefits.

Aspects of Home Visits

During hospice care, you will receive visits from team members.

This includes nurses who will provide assessments and administer medication. Social workers will help locate resources. And chaplains, if part of your team, will serve as a source of spiritual support for the entire family.

The hospice team will work with the family to create a schedule of nursing visits and to provide help with activities of daily living, such as bathing or personal care.

As the disease progresses, hospice workers may increase the frequency of their visits, even going as far as providing care 24/7.

Hospice Works Wherever Patients Call Home

For some patients, home may be a skilled nursing facility, while others may stay in a “hospice house” or similar environment.

Wherever a patient calls “home,” hospice will be there to help.

Hospice Care Continues to Help the Family

When the hospice patient passes away, members of the team are still available to help the family.

This may be through assisting with funeral arrangements and paperwork, providing bereavement care and helping the family find grief support groups in their area.

Some hospice organizations also offer camps and similar activities for children who have lost a parent or close family member.

Hospice Care Allows You to Spend More Time at Home

When faced with a serious illness, wouldn’t you prefer to be surrounded by family? Most people would.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about hospice often discourage thousands from getting the help they need and deserve.

Want More Facts About Hospice?

At Hospice Wise, we realize that a lot of people don’t know about hospice or its range of services. That’s why we’ve put together the information on this site. And why we continue to add to it on a regular basis.

And if you would like help getting connected with an hospice provider near you or your loved one, we can help with that, too.

Q. is there are actions i should know about how to give the best care and treatment for an autistic child? like a special logistic care , or a special day care and privet assistant.

Q. hey . i am new here .. what is it an ADHD? who can have it? how do you take care of it?

A. welcome!!
ADHD is a long story. it’s a very common disorder of hyperactivity and short attention span.
here is a link that will sort it out for you:
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/adhd/complete-publication.shtml

Q. How can I leave him here and take care of my work? Please help me out. Hi friends, I met my brother after a year and half and he behaves differently. He is just 8 years old as I am quite busy with my work I admitted him in a very distant boarding school. When I met him he was very happy and I made him to stay with me at least for those days when I am here. I am a security person and I need to travel all over the globe to provide service. The very next of my stay with him, I happened to note a change in his behavior and he gets angry for silly things and becomes very happy after some time. I am shocked with this behavior and strongly doubt whether he suffers from Schizophrenia as my uncle too had that defect. But my friend says it looks like bipolar. How can I leave him here and take care of my work? Please help me out.

How to care for a dying parent

Proper nutrition is a vital part of a healthy life at any age. Many seniors tend to eat less as their metabolisms slow and nutritional needs change, but what if Mom or Dad won’t eat a balanced diet or hardly eats at all? How about if a loved one only eats sweets and refuses healthy foods? Family caregivers often face challenges like these at some point.

A loved one may develop unusual eating habits as they get older for several reasons. Learn about the most common factors that can cause an elder to lose interest in food and how you can remedy these issues.

Why Do the Elderly Stop Eating?

  1. Loss of Taste and Smell
    Eating involves many senses. In fact, the sense of smell is very closely tied to our ability to taste food and directly influences our appetites. Many adults experience a reduction in their senses of smell and taste as they age. This dulling of the senses greatly affects how seniors perceive food and can actually lessen their feelings of hunger.
    To help enhance a senior’s dining experience, a caregiver can alter recipes to include more flavorful spices, herbs and vegetables. For example, using aromatic ingredients like onions, garlic, ginger, celery or carrots at the start of cooking creates deeper, more flavorful foundations for many different cuisines and, of course, produces mouthwatering aromas in the process.
    Adding sugar, salt and fat to a senior’s diet is an easy but unhealthy method of intensifying the flavors of their food. This is why some seniors gravitate towards sweet treats and junk food rather than healthy ingredients. Try using fresh herbs, a squeeze of citrus, spices, extracts and different cooking techniques to boost the flavor profile and aroma of a loved one’s meals.
  2. Low Vision
    Cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and other eye conditions can seriously affect a senior’s vision and how they perceive the foods they eat. If they cannot clearly see what is being served, they are likely to lose interest in food, especially when combined with reductions in taste and smell. Vision loss can also make it difficult or even unsafe for a senior to shop for and prepare nutritious meals.
    To enhance the visual presentation of a senior’s meals, make a point of serving healthy, colorful foods, separating each part of the meal so they are clearly defined on the plate, and using dishes that contrast with the color of the foods being served. If possible, vary the plate presentations from day to day to keep mealtimes interesting.
  3. Medication Side Effects
    Some medications, such as Alzheimer’s drugs, some anti-depressants, cardiac drugs, antibiotics and stimulants, have side effects that can affect a person’s eating habits. Ask your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist if any of their prescriptions or medical treatments could be causing a direct reduction in appetite or other related symptoms like constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bad tastes in the mouth or dry mouth. The physician may be able to adjust their medication regimen to minimize these negative effects or recommend working with a dietitian to provide a non-pharmaceutical intervention.
  4. Constipation
    Slower digestion is often a side effect of the aging process as well as many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Some of the uncomfortable symptoms of constipation like bloating, abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness can cause a reduction in appetite. Consider helping your loved one gradually increase their fiber and fluid intake and encourage them to engage in physical activity as often as they are able. Even a leisurely walk can help get things moving. Try to avoid using laxatives, which are not intended for long-term use and can actually make the situation worse. If the problem persists, work with your loved one’s physician to devise a personalized treatment plan for alleviating digestive issues and restoring a healthy appetite.
  5. Oral Health Issues
    If a senior appears to have a difficult time chewing, they may have a problem with their teeth, gums or dentures. The shape of the mouth and jaw can change steadily over time, especially if an elder has periodontal disease. Ill-fitting dentures and other oral devices can become loose or uncomfortable or even cause painful sores and irritation. Regular dental checkups can prevent serious problems from developing and enable a senior to continue eating normally.
    Foods that are soft, moist and cut into smaller pieces are easier to consume for those who are experiencing oral discomfort. For example, serve vegetables cooked instead of raw. Rather than a steak or pork chop, opt for fish, plant-based proteins like beans and lentils, recipes that include ground meat, or cuts that can be cooked until tender. Serving meals with healthy sauces can moisten ingredients and facilitate chewing and swallowing as well, especially if a loved one is experiencing symptoms of dry mouth.
  6. Dining Alone
    Meals are often enjoyed more when they are shared with other people. Many seniors grew up with sit-down family dinners where loved ones would discuss the events of the day. Mealtimes can become lonely for seniors who no longer have a significant other to dine and converse with.
    Whenever possible, try to share meals with your loved one. Recruit other family members, friends and neighbors to join them regularly for lunch, dinner, or even tea and an afternoon snack. Look for local “congregate meal events” hosted by places like senior centers, churches and other community organizations. Your local Area Agency on Aging can provide details and information on whether volunteer drivers or specialized transit services are available to assist with transportation.
  7. Unwillingness to Cook
    If a senior is unwilling or unable to shop for and/or cook their own nutritious meals, it can take a toll on their health and eating habits. Many family caregivers opt to cook for their loved ones, but this can be difficult to juggle for long-distance caregivers and those who work and have their own families. Other options include Meals on Wheels and paid meal delivery services like Silver Cuisine and Magic Kitchen. Find a meal delivery provider near you on the Meals on Wheels America website.
    In-home care is another alternative that can provide a myriad of benefits. Home care is unique in that it offers companionship, meal preparation and light housekeeping services for seniors in the comfort of their own homes. Professional caregivers can even provide assisted oral feeding for clients who have difficulty with this and other activities of daily living (ADLs).

Proper nutrition is vital for a senior’s health and independence. If addressing the issues above fails to yield results, consult your loved one’s physician. The doctor may recommend seeing a specialist like a gastroenterologist to deduce why eating is such a struggle or working with a registered dietitian to find alternative methods for getting your loved one the nutrition they need.

Dreams often don’t predict the future or anything but they reflect the things that could be going on in your life or ones that happened in the past.

It is widely believed that dreaming about someone dying especially someone familiar like a family member is a bad omen.

Many might think that it might be a premonition of the person(s) dying in real life but often times is it actually a sign of an end to something. It could be a relationship, a career or a change of circumstances forcing an end to something.

It can be devastating to have dreams about family members dying, but why would you experience such dreams?

Table of Contents

Why You Have Dreams About Family Members Dying

There are various reasons why you could be having dreams about family members dying and they are as follows :

Afraid Of Losing Your Family

The dreams could be coming because you could be afraid of losing your family members.

They could be your children which you are afraid of losing custody over or your parents who could be ill or your siblings who might be considering moving away to a faraway place.

You could be afraid that these people who you love dearly might be gone from your life at some point.

You are afraid that you will be miserable without them because you are used to having them around, talking to them, dining with them and sharing many great moments with them. The fear of losing them could be fueling these dreams.

You Are Missing These Family Members

The dreams could also be happening because you are missing your family members and aren’t meeting them as much as you would love to.

You could also be jealous of their current lifestyle because of the fact that you are no longer a major part of it as you used to be.

You Are Dealing With Their Death In your waking life

Your family members might have died and their death might be affecting you in a huge way. You might not even be over their death really and dealing with it currently.

That could be the reason why you keep dreaming about them dying. It could be because you might have witnessed their death or feel guilty about it.

A major change in your life

Most death dreams are usually because of a major change in your life. It could be that you are a parent now, your financial status has drastically changed, you have experienced a spiritual rebirth or discovered new things about yourself that are causing great changes in your life.

The reason why you are having the dreams about your family members dying could be because many aspects of your life are rapidly changing and maybe you are not handling the change very well. That could be the reason why the dreams are upsetting you.

You Feel Betrayed By Certain People

The dreams could also be showing up because you feel betrayed either by the family members or people that are close to that you consider them to be like family.

If you are upset that they die that means you are simply sad about them betraying you. However, if in the dreams you are happy that they died then it could be that you have a thirst for revenge against them for their betrayal.

Consider moving on from the betrayal incident and not doing anything drastic lest you risk ruining your life.

Common Dreams About Family Members Dying

There are common dreams about family members dying and their interpretation and they are as follows:

Dream About Parents Dying

If your parents are still alive and you dream of them dying, then it simply means that you are worried about losing them. You love them both dearly and are wondering what life would be like without them.

They might or might not be sick and there might be no signs of them dying anytime soon. The best thing would be to stop worrying and enjoy more good times with them.

Dream About Siblings Dying

Having a dream about your siblings is usually a sign of the state of your too busy life that you lack time to spend time with your siblings like you used to before.

You might be feeling the need to spend more time with them and are feeling guilty that you might have neglected your relationship with your siblings.

Perhaps you haven’t been a present help in their times of need. It would be better if you reached out to them and create better memories of good times spent together with your siblings.

Dreaming Of Your Children Dying

This dream is an indication of your children leaving childhood and finally leaving home. They might now be grown up and are leaving the nest to start their own lives.

You feel like they have grown up too soon and feel like you are going to miss them being kids and taking care of them. That is why in your dreams you see them dying.

Remember that they will always be your kids even when they grow up and leave home. The sooner you accept that they will eventually leave home or have left home the easier it will get to cope without having them around.

Dream About Your Grandparents Dying.

This dream could be a sign that you are losing touch with your roots. Grandparents often hold families together. It is at the grandparents’ homes where families meet for Christmas and most holidays.

When you dream about them dying, then it could be a sign that you are losing your sense of culture and family.

It might be helpful if you embraced your culture spent time with your family and know more about your roots.

Dream About Your Whole Family Dying.

A dream about your whole family dying would be devastating. It could be a sign that you are worried about the unity of your family. In reality, it could be that certain circumstances could be threatening your family.

You could all be facing a crisis or a scandal that is causing a great rift in your family. Try calling for peace or look for members of your family who are influential and could promote peace and unity within your family.

Conclusion

Dreams about family members dying are not pleasant at all. But usually, there is no doubt that something is happening in your waking life.

Look closely at your family life or personal life and make things right where they aren’t, but if all is well then you are just being worrisome. Relaxing a little and enjoying the family you have will be helpful.