Companionship and Respite
My main goal is to be a companion to the dying and their loved ones. I serve as a supportive presence and “hold the space” for the dying patient and their loved ones to decrease as much stress as possible at this time. A dying person may be alone or without family and friends for a significant portion of their day.
During these visits, the dying person may choose to discuss their end-of-life process, ask questions about what lies ahead, share fears or worries about their journey, or share how they think their loved ones will deal with their dying. Other times, the dying person may simply appreciate the company of a caring person who can address their needs, listen to their stories, or simply offer silent companionship. I also offer respite visits to allow primary caregivers to get a break, rest or address other needs or obligations unrelated to the care of their loved one.
Creating Remembrances/Legacy Projects
One of the primary areas of focus as an end-of-life guide is exploring life’s meaning through personal reflections that help a dying person and those close to them look at what has been important to that person over the course of their life. We’ll explore what they have learned, the values they have come to hold, their impact on the people they have lived among, and what they consider to be their legacy.
I will support a dying person and loved ones in extracting from this discussion the material they might want to use in creating a remembrance/legacy project. This project may reflect who the dying person has been and the impact they will leave behind on people and their community. Such a project could yield a video, a scrapbook, letters to loved ones, etc.
Advance Healthcare Directives
This is a legal document that will express the patient’s wishes for healthcare and pick a health care proxy-Someone to speak for the patient if they are not able to speak for themselves.
Suggesting Interventions for Comfort
I have been specially trained in all phases of end-of-life care. Knowing what to look for as a patient’s condition changes and knowing what interventions to suggest to the family to increase comfort. Be the eyes and ears to notify the hospice team of any changes or new developments.