Being a primary caregiver isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one of the toughest jobs you can take on. You need to bathe and feed your loved one time, make sure they don’t skip their meals, and most of all, you need to be there when they need a shoulder to cry on.
They rely on you to brighten up their day and make them feel safe. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that they depend on you for everything.
Taking on this role is a huge responsibility. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can’t do to make sure your loved one lives a comfortable and happy life.
Here’s what you can do for them:
Let Your Loved One Take the Lead
Depending on the illness they have, your loved one may not be able to fulfill their life’s dreams or goals anymore. But they may be willing to talk about them. Ask them if they want to do something that will help them live that dream in another way.
For example: if they always wanted to travel to Paris but couldn’t, you can watch a documentary on France with them. You can order postcards or things from Paris that they would like to have. This will help them live their dream even if they can’t go there physically.
If they want to spend time together, they probably enjoy your company. See if there are things you can do together with them. Reading a book or even making a scrapbook is a good idea.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Have Important Conversations
At the end of their life, you may need to have a few conversations that are going to be emotionally-taxing. But it’s best to have them earlier on. Be tactful. Be careful. And make sure you don’t wait until the last moment to have them.
These include decisions about property or financial obligations. It can also be about telling them how much they mean to you.
It’s better to tackle these things head-on and earlier on than have regrets later.
Be Patient with Them
Remember that your loved one did not ask to be sick. They are battling a terminal illness. They feel immensely guilty about becoming emotionally dependent on you. The best way to support them is to let them know how much they mean to you and just how much you care about them.
As their illness progresses, they will have difficulty talking, walking, and doing basic tasks. Be patient with them. Remind them that you love them no matter what.
Remember that nobody is perfect and that you’re doing your best to make them feel safe, happy, and comfortable.
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