Providing support to a loved one who is dying

When a doctor diagnosed your loved one with mesothelioma, the doctor no doubt explained that there is currently no cure for the disease. Many Pennsylvania mesothelioma victims describe feeling like the world had dropped out from underneath their feet upon hearing such words. As a caregiver for a terminally ill patient, you may also experience a roller coaster of emotions and may need your own support system as you do your best to provide for your loved one's needs. 

Pittsburgh is a town that is rich in industrial history. Sadly, that history is a significant component in many people's adverse health conditions, as well. Perhaps your loved one worked in a steel mill, shipyard or textile factory, then started to feel ill years later. This is often the case for those who suffer from mesothelioma; in fact, many victims have pursued litigation upon learning that their illnesses were preventable in the workplace. As part of your support system, you may want to speak with someone well versed in asbestos litigation laws.

Helpful ideas when providing end-of-life care 

It is no secret that the most difficult part of providing end-of-life care is acknowledging the fact that the person you love is going to die. Many people hesitate to discuss the topic with their loved ones; however, others find it helps the patients as well as the caregivers to make the most of the time they have left together. The following list includes thoughts that may be helpful to you as you tend to the needs of a terminally ill loved one:  

  • It is always best to let the patient take the lead regarding any and all discussions of impending death. As a caregiver, you help your loved one fare best by being a willing listener and by engaging in conversation as your loved one invites you to do so.
  • Caring for a loved one who is dying is emotionally traumatic. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to try to pretend like all is well every time you're with your loved one; it's okay to show your sadness.
  • Your loved one may experience breathing pattern changes that can be quite alarming. This is a natural part of the dying process in most cases.
  • You may also notice your loved one grimacing, furrowing his or her brow, or otherwise showing discomfort as his or her final time draws near.
  • Signs that death is immediately imminent often include bluish skin tone, cooled body temperature, fixed or dilated pupils, and a slacking jaw. 

In the weeks or even months before such final signs are evident, your loved one may have a great desire to organize certain legal documents as his or her symptoms worsen. You can help by being prepared ahead of time in knowing how to access appropriate legal support as needed.

Tending to your personal needs

It is never easy to face a family member's death, especially in situations where you know a loved one's illness was preventable and caused by the negligence of others. No one can tell you how to grieve, but there are many support resources available to help you find your own way through the mourning process. Sharing your experiences with others who have cared for terminally ill loves ones may provide encouragement and support to help you cope with your great loss.

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Savinis, Kane, & Gallucci, L.L.C.
707 Grant Street Suite 3626
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Toll Free: 866-473-7545
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