In the final stages of illness, the body becomes weak, and different body systems lose their ability to function. Your care team will help you anticipate and adjust to the changes that come with decreasing mobility, lessening ability to control bodily functions, and increasing need for assistance with personal care. These changes can be both physically and emotionally taxing. The loss of independence and privacy can leave everyone feeling particularly vulnerable. Personal dignity and well-being matter greatly. Everyone has their own ways of handling these changes and their own limitations.
- Encourage as much independence as possible.
- Promote dignity by maintaining privacy.
- Talk directly to the person who is receiving care rather than around them.
- Talk about something else while providing personal care: reminisce, share your loving feelings or find something to laugh about.
- Be patient with yourself. What feels awkward at first can get easier with practice.