Being there for the end of your senior’s life as her caregiver is an incredible honor, but it can be so difficult. You may feel as if you’re just waiting and waiting for that other shoe to drop constantly. It can help to be able to recognize signs that might indicate your senior is closer to the end than you realize.
She’s Sleeping More
Your elderly family member may have been having some difficulties with sleep or with staying awake in the past, but as she nears the end of her life she may be asleep a lot more. It may be difficult for her to stay awake at all or even during situations she wants to participate in, like conversations. Her body is slowing down and needs the rest to continue the daily processes that are still functioning.
She’s Turning Down Food and Drink
Because your elderly family member’s body is slowing down and starting to shut down, it doesn’t need as much in the way of food and drink. This can cause her desire for foods and drinks, even ones that she loves and has wanted recently, to wane greatly. She may start to lose weight as well, because she’s not eating as much.
She’s More Confused or Out of Touch with Day and Time
As your senior sleeps more and takes in fewer calories, she’s more likely to experience confusion. She may especially seem confused about what day it is or whether it’s day or night. This isn’t unusual, but it can be disturbing for you and for any other family members who are spending time with her. This isn’t dementia, but it can seem as if your elderly family member is losing touch with reality.
Her Pain Levels Increase
All of these symptoms can also be related to another. Pain levels are much more likely to become increasingly severe as your senior edges closer to the end of her life. Depending on her other health issues, she may also be experiencing pain due to those conditions. There may be ways for end of life care providers to help her to manage her pain more effectively, depending on her care plan.
The changes your senior is going through are sometimes difficult to witness. Having the help of end of life care providers can give you a way to handle the changes she’s dealing with in a way that’s healthy for everyone involved.