Final decisions, dealing with grief, and helping to provide comfort can be a highly emotional time during the final stages of a terminal illness for yourself and your loved one.

Many people are unfamiliar with late-stage care.  We are here to inform you.

Your loved one is approaching the end of their life and is in the final stages of a terminal illness.  You want the best treatment, attention, and care.

In order to help them make the most of the time they have left you are focused on making them as comfortable as possible, so they enjoy the moments left on this planet.  Your loved one’s final stage period may last a few weeks to several years.  Plan on a few months at a minimum once your loved one enters this phase depending on the nature of the illness.  Shortness of breath, nausea, constipation and other symptoms and pain can be controlled by measures taken by palliative care professionals.

The family and the loved ones of the families that are undergoing treatment can receive spiritual and emotional support from a hospice care provider.

Uniquely challenging is how most caregivers find this final stage of the caregiving experience even if they have years of experience.  Painful feelings of loss and grief along with complex end-of-life decisions are often combined with simple acts of daily care from hospice providers, end-of-life, and palliative care administrators.

Guilt that you’ve failed as your loved one’s caregiver, relief that your loved one’s struggle is at a close, denial and anger, anxiety, and sorrow are all a range of conflicting emotions you can experience that are distressing, to say the least.  Support is the main thing that is needed during the stage of late-stage caregiving for all hospice providers, palliative care administrators, and loved ones.  Facing up top the loss of a loved one is no easy task.  Experiencing feelings of distress when handling legal affairs, financial affairs, and practical support for end-of-life care is normal.

When expressing your love remember to forgive if you hold any grudges if you have differences to address and resolve them, and say goodbye to your loved one during late-stage care.  Acceptance and healing are imperative to your own health as you transition out of grief and nursing and should be seen as a gift even though you have gone through a painful time.  This late stage provides you the opportunity to say goodbye.

Late-stage and end-of-life care.  When is the right time?

Depending on the progression of your loved one’s illness there may not be a right time or a specific point where end-of-life care begins. Stages of a specific diagnosis are usually provided by your loved one’s doctor, or your hospice provider as is the case with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Planning appropriate care can better be done once you understand the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms.  It is best if you understand the general guidelines.