3 Ways to Communicate Better to a Dying Loved One

Man holding hand of sick woman

Man holding hand of sick womanA loved one’s terminal illness brings helplessness and despair to family members. Aside from the heavy burden of grappling with the reality of death, there’s that struggle in figuring out what to say to the dying loved one. There’s no formula for doing this, but health experts say you have to remember that the goal is to help maintain your loved one’s dignity and respect in his or her last days.

Here are a few things that would help you get started in talking to them:

Ask about What They’re Feeling

As the caregiver, your responsibility is to make your loved one’s last days as comfortable as possible. So, you want to know how you can give the best care. Listen as they talk about their needs.

Sometimes, terminally ill people wouldn’t want loved ones to mind them, as they feel like a burden to the family. You don’t want your loved one to feel that way in their last days, so bring them to that point of comfort, where they’ll honestly tell you about their needs. To give the best care possible, you might want to consider getting them to a hospice home facility in Indiana, like the Hospice of the Calumet Area, which can set up a unique plan for your loved one.

Communicate Love

“I love you” are three simple words, but they have the power to communicate vulnerability, loyalty, and respect—the values your loved one badly needs at this sensitive time. Remember that your loved one is struggling with a lot physically, emotionally, and mentally, so you want to give words of affirmation. But don’t stop with conveying the right words. Communicate your love by serving them. This may be as simple as cooking them dinner, cleaning their house, or just by being there for them when they wake up in the middle of the night crying.

Let Them Open Up about Their Life

Often, terminally ill people would talk about two things: their need to fix things with friends and family and their life’s accomplishments and regrets. Whatever it is they’re going to open up, let them discuss it and encourage them, no matter what. When they keep bringing up the bad, that’s when you find the good in the bad.

More than what and how you’ll communicate, be there. Be mentally there. Your loved one badly needs you during this time.


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