Upon receiving a terminal diagnosis, the reaction of the patient and their relatives may differ vastly. This often leads to a prevailing sense of tension; individuals can react differently to a certain situation. Most people deflect their emotions as a coping mechanism that strains relationships. Emotional support is a vital pillar, amongst others, which rests the responsibility of taking care of a terminally ill patient.
Individuals who care for patients daily tend to their physical and medical needs and observe their constant struggle. They can end up feeling frustrated and helpless. The optimism that encompasses the family members doesn’t correspond to their feelings, with the need to be open and accepting about the inevitable end of their loved ones is overwhelming.
Terminal diagnoses can have a significant impact on work, lifestyles, personal relationships, and demeanor. Dealing with negative and positive emotions helps clear the air for more important tasks relating to planning and handling relative affairs. Learn about the guidance that focuses on the impact of coping with the terminal illness of a loved one.
Supporting a Terminally Ill patient
Dealing with the ensuing emotions upon receiving a terminal diagnosis can send one into a state of turmoil. It isn’t always easy to know how to react. Comforting a terminally ill patient can be quite a challenge, as people are plagued with various questions regarding their relationship with the patient. Coping with your personal grief itself poses a challenge.
However, the first step is to assure the patient that they aren’t in this alone. That’s where emotional support groups come in handy. Conversing with other families and patients going through the same troubles forms a sense of shared bond. No one can understand the suffering better than another person struggling with the same feelings of mayhem.
Keeping a sense of optimism afloat is key; your relationship might be strengthened due to shared grief. The patient needs to know that they are still the same in your eyes and should normally be treated irrespective of their medical needs. Be a good listener; your company alone can mean the world to someone. However, hiring grief counselors is still necessary. Your emotional support shouldn’t act as a replacement for professional help.
Advice for a Grieving Family
Grief is a natural response consisting of intense feelings of sorrow. Negative emotions can be overwhelming and hinder your daily habits. Grief is a normal reaction; don’t fear that you’re throwing your life away. Your feelings of grief may naturally exacerbate as the health of your loved one deteriorates. However, confiding in a trusted friend and seeking professional help are steps in the right direction.
Oftentimes, people use denial as a coping mechanism. The reality of the situation can be overwhelming and alarming. The thought of losing a loved one and the pain they are suffering from can overtake a person’s thoughts. To the patient, a loved one’s denial might be offensive and make them feel unloved.
On the other hand, a patient may be facing denial to avoid feeling like a burden and forgo the feelings of impending death. If denial leads to a person refusing treatment, avoiding medication, and not caring for their health and needs, seeking treatment and professional help is advised. Encourage your loved one to open up about their feelings and thoughts, offer a hand to hold and an ear to listen. Discussing shared memories can be a great way to strengthen the emotional bond.
Seeking Professional Help
Dire situations can mentally and emotionally exhaust a person. Psychological help is often required to deal with rampant emotions. Grief counseling, family therapy, and even religious and spiritual support can help patients spend the last few moments of their lives in peace. Emotional support groups where a patient and the family can converse with like-minded people often lessen the feelings of helplessness and loneliness.
A family can opt for hospice care as the end nears and caring becomes too exhausting. The facilities provided by an entire team of health care specialists make the process easier and more comfortable for the patient. They can address the physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, and psychological pain and help reduce it.
Hospice care also provides counseling and therapy for grieving families. A professional team can include doctors, nurses, home health assistants, spiritual counselors, social workers, speech therapists, physical and occupational therapists, bereavement counselors, and any other therapists required for the situation. If you do your research correctly and thoroughly, you can find the right facilities for your loved one.