Resolving unresolved difficulties with friends or family may help the dying person find peace. Visits from a social worker or counselor may also be beneficial. Many people find consolation in their religious beliefs. Others may be conflicted about their religious or spiritual convictions. These issues should be discussed with your patient openly and honestly. Allowing patients to express themselves freely in this way helps them work through their feelings.
The last thing a sick person wants is to make their situation worse by arguing with those who care for them. However, if they are asked directly about their wishes, they should be given the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings. This may help relieve some of the stress that comes with being ill. Social workers can help patients identify their needs and connect them with others who can meet these needs. For example, social workers can assist patients by identifying available hospices or nursing homes and explaining their rights under Medicare. They can also guide families through end-of-life planning processes.
People often neglect their own needs during times of illness. By resolving any unresolved issues within the family, social workers can help ensure that everyone's needs are met at the end of life.
Spiritual Concerns Spiritual requirements include finding purpose in one's life and, if possible, resolving problems with others. At a time when so much is uncertain, many people look to those they trust for guidance. The sick and dying need our support and love; they do not have to be alone in this difficult time.
Spiritual concerns are often different for individuals. What are important considerations for you? Think about what matters most to you in your life and how you might deal with these issues during your own deathbed conversion.
Physical Needs The physical needs of the dying person include providing food, water, and shelter. If a patient is unable to take care of themselves, someone must make decisions for them. Family members often have trouble making these decisions because of their emotional response to the situation. It is helpful if they get all the information they need so they can make decisions that are consistent with their values.
Emotional Needs The emotional needs of the dying person include being acknowledged and accepted for who they are right now, not who they were once upon a time. They may also need our forgiveness if they caused us pain in the past. Helping the sick and dying person work through their grief is an important part of caring for them.
Of course, there are times when one does not have a choice. However, frequent goals include avoiding pain, having your end-of-life desires honored, and being treated with dignity while dying. People who are dying, in general, require care in four areas: bodily comfort, mental and emotional requirements, spiritual difficulties, and practical duties.
Bodily comfort includes things like food, water, shelter, and hygiene. People who are dying often lack the strength to take care of these needs themselves, so others help by doing things such as giving advice, performing tasks, and just being with someone who is dying.
Mental and emotional requirements include communicating feelings and needs, making decisions, and expressing gratitude. These are things that everyone wants for those who are dying, but may not be able to give themselves. For example, someone who is emotionally depleted may not be able to communicate their wishes or make decisions about treatment options. A friend or family member might provide this type of support.
Spiritual difficulties include asking questions about life, death, and God, seeking guidance from religious leaders or practices, and making peace with oneself and others. Many people find this aspect of care particularly difficult because they don't want to appear unspiritual by saying or doing things like "God bless you," when someone sneezes, or sharing stories about what happened after they died. They feel it is important to have faith even though they can't see or measure it!