It can be difficult for many people to imagine a world without their parents in it, especially if they have been a presence in your life since the day you were born. No one wants to say goodbye to the ones they love, but it is something that can’t be avoided. Learning that your senior parent is moving into the final phase of their life and being advised to prepare for their death can be overwhelming, but it’s important to take this on board to make sure you’re getting the most out of the time you have left together, and that you’re prepared as best as you possibly can be for the next stage. If you’ve recently been told that your parent is terminally ill, here are some tips to help you get through it.
You want your parent to be as comfortable as possible as they reach the final stages of their illness, so finding the right kind of palliative care is key. There are plenty of options you can explore, and you might even need to use more than one service, but a lot of people do choose hospice care during this time. They can help with pain management and provide emotional support for both patients and their loved ones, which is something you might find comforting during this time. Look at the LightBridge Hospice in San Diego County for a good example of the kind of work hospices can do.
See Them Regularly
You will still have to balance your daily routine when your parent is ill, but you must spend as much time with them as possible. Although it might be difficult to see them deteriorate, you might regret it later on if you didn’t see them regularly throughout this period. Not only can it help to provide some comfort to you, but also them. You can reminisce over cherished memories, perhaps have conversations you have avoided in previous years to clear the air, or simply sit in silence and hold their hand.
Speak to Your Kids
If you have children, you should also make sure that they understand what is happening. It’s better to be honest with them so that they aren’t confused and let them know that it is important for them to say goodbye to their grandparent. If your kids are having a difficult time with this, perhaps consider getting them some counseling to help them navigate their grief. You might also find this kind of help beneficial.
Deal with Paperwork
Talking to your parents about legal procedures and organizing finances might be the last thing you want to do when you’re spending your final weeks with them, but these things are all important. It will help to give you and them peace of mind that everything has been taken care of, and no one is going to get any nasty surprises when they eventually pass. Help them to get their affairs in order, so they don’t have to worry.
Tell Them You Love Them
The most important thing you can do when saying goodbye to your parent is to tell them that you love them. Even if things haven’t always been great between the two of you, they love you, and these words will make them feel as though they were seen and appreciated by you even through the tougher times.
Losing a loved one is always hard, no matter the circumstances, but if your elderly parent has reached the final phase of their life, these tips might help make saying goodbye a little easier for you both.