10 Things Not to Do in a Loved One’s Last Hours

news-freedom-elder-care-new-jersey-end-of-life-conversations-agingI believe in the concept of hospice. I believe in the support, attention and services provided by hospice staff and volunteers.

I also believe that most people either don’t take advantage of their Medicare-covered hospice benefit or they wait too long to get the full value from the service.

The act of dying is very personal and family members often don’t want strangers around. Those who do take advantage of the hospice program often feel supported and guided during this difficult time.

Being with a loved one during their last days or hours can be very overwhelming and is uncharted territory for most. This list, as well as the support of trained Hospice professionals, may provide you with some support.

 Below are 10 things NOT to do during a loved one’s last hours.

  1. Do not fight with other family members in front of the dying person.
  2. Do not insist on feeding the person.
  3. Do not give the person a drink.
  4. Do not resist pain medication.
  5. Do not talk about the person as if they can’t hear you.
  6. Do not get agitated around the person.
  7. Do not move the person back to the hospital.
  8. Do not be surprised by the look and sound of death.
  9. Do not shake the person into coming back to life.
  10. Do not argue with the person.

Lastly, behave in ways that reflect your love and respect for the dying person. Accept what is happening and follow your loved one’s lead.

Dying isn’t about doing, it is about being present and respectfully not getting in the way.