“Enjoy the present because who knows what the future will hold” is fine advice for anyone, anytime, but is especially meaningful for people in the Anamosa area and elsewhere receiving end of life care.
While it’s easy to think of this time of life being dreary and sad by nature, it can actually have some upbeat, even special moments.
The team at Above And Beyond Home Health Care knows that everyone grieves differently, and some people use the opportunity of their final stage of life as a way to get together with friends and family and not worry about what may or may not happen in the future.
Our caring staff is always happy to talk to patients, family members and caregivers about what’s ahead and suggestions to make any remaining days and time special. Our team also has extensive experience working with families who alternate between being devastated and upbeat, depending on everyone’s state of mind and personal/medical circumstances.
5 ways to find peace
Here are five realistic ways to try to be positive even if circumstances aren’t necessarily pleasant.
- Rely on religion. Some faiths promise good things once this world is done. If you’ve been a believer and interested in spirituality, you may find comfort in knowing that better days are ahead. This could be a Christian perspective of heaven, a happy, tranquil place where there is no pain. Or other faiths present the idea of reincarnation where your soul gets to return in another form, be it another human or something else. Having strong faith traditions can make the end-of-life process less frightening and maybe even a bit exciting to see what you believe will come next. Support from loved ones with these same faith traditions can also be encouraging.
- Opportunity to make things right. When someone doesn’t have a lot of time, it’s not uncommon to try to patch up past pain, make amends for past slights or grudges or try to reconcile mistakes and regrets. Having a different perspective that comes from not a lot of time can make it easier to say something like “I’m sorry” so your conscience is clear. Having these kinds of attitudes can go a long way to help you feel better along with those around you. In some circumstances, a dying parent may invite estranged children together or friends and family from the past who have drifted away.
- No more pain. Part of the goal of hospice care and palliative care is to minimize the amount of testing, painful procedures and long hospital stays. Instead of “let’s do everything we can to help cure what’s wrong with you,” the approach of these types of care is “let’s help make you feel comfortable and improve your quality of life as much as possible.” This way, people often stay in their own homes with loved ones around any time, rather than hospital visiting hours. There are also fewer restrictions on what to eat and what to do, which also could be comforting to people who are tired of modified diets or being told not to go outside.
- Opportunity to catch up on paperwork. End-of-life paperwork can be a little confusing and even a little overwhelming but in the end, it can provide peace of mind. For instance, finalizing your will, your funeral arrangements and burial information can avoid your loved ones fighting about these things when you’re gone. Some may have different interpretations of what they think you would want. Family members may get angry or hurt if there’s no clear direction from you who gets what in your possessions. Having all of these details taken care of will be less for your family members to worry about or get stressed about. This is an opportunity for you to have things exactly how you would want them.
- Chances to say good-bye. Although death can come anytime to anyone, having a more finite timeline can provide the opportunity to offer formal farewells to important people in your life while there is still time and you’re able to. This could take the form of letters or video messages to family members, friends or loved ones. These final words can be a gift preserved for generations, whether you leave it for them after you’re gone or present it to them earlier. Some people entering hospice care who still have energy may even have a “celebration of life” party, not unlike a wake or memorial, but the person being celebrated is still alive.
There are no rules on whether you should feel happy, scared, sad or every feeling in between. It’s also common for people’s moods to change regularly – one minute you could be terrified of what’s ahead, the next you could try to face it with courage.
Fall is a perfect time to learn more about ways to look ahead. October is Positive Attitude Month, which is an occasion to look for opportunities to be less negative and focus on good things in life, whatever point you are in it.
For more suggestions on what feelings could be ahead or ways to change your outlook, visit Above and Beyond Home Health Care.