Tips For Offering Terminal Illness Support In Austin TX

By Linda Graham

The prevalence of chronic illnesses continues to soar today due to factors such as leading sedentary lives. After diagnosis, the brevity of life becomes a reality for many patients. They go through tough periods of denial and frustration before finally accepting their situation. This period can be made easier through proper care from family, friends, and professionals. Here are the tips for offering terminal illness support in Austin TX.

Recognizing and accepting that the sickness is real is the first step. For most people, it is easier to live in denial and to handle the patient as if nothing has happened. The patient needs gentle care, so it is necessary to find out more about the condition they are dealing with and to seek help on how to approach the situation when clueless. Empathy must always be applied.

The best form of care is ones presence. This does not mean always finding something to discuss with the patient. Being present involves sending the message that the patient is cared for, loved and have a shoulder to lean on. Etiquette rules guide the care-person to use a communication approach that is neither intrusive nor demanding. The patient should be allowed the chance to decide when and what to talk about.

Supporting a patient means listening to them. They may have extreme feelings and emotions as they face the motion of their sickness. They may express feelings of anger and fear and may seek to divulge the details of their will. A safe and open space should be provided for the patient to talk about anything. Where there is need, suitable professionals should be contacted and availed to handle the technical aspects of their wishes. A good listener must not ask leading questions.

Supporting a person with a chronic condition means avoiding being excessively optimistic. The prognosis for incurable diseases is often not good. Most patients in this state have a limited time on earth. Pushing for overly positive discussions often prompt feelings of anger, fear, and may make one doubt their faith.

One must always be polite and courteous when dealing with a terminally ill patient. At this point, most patients have reconnected with their spirituality and religion. This must always be respected regardless of the differences in the choice of religion and beliefs. When they ask for something that is reasonably attainable, such as the services of an attorney or religious leader, it is prudent to provide it. When asked to leave, the best option is to politely exit from the premises.

It is necessary to affirm the patient. Diseases bring feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The patient needs to know that their family and friends treasure them. This can be done by taking time to recall the good old days. They should also be reminded of their greatest achievements. Doing this triggers joy and happiness as well as a feeling of satisfaction that one has not wasted their lives.

Long-term chronic diseases make life difficult and painful. The hardship can be lessened by providing adequate care and support to the patient. Keeping them aware and involved is always better than secluding them. The patient must be respected, listened to, loved and affirmed.

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