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Providing End-of-Life Care to an Aging Loved One: A Guide for Caregivers




As our parents or loved-ones age, it's natural to start thinking about end-of-life care. This can be an emotional and challenging topic to address, but it's essential to ensure your loved one’s comfort and quality of life in their final days.


While geriatric care management covers all phases of later life, our team provides quality care and guidance specific to end-of-life and takes care of much of the logistics so that a dying senior’s family can be more present with them in their concluding weeks, days, or hours. If you're caring for an aging person, it's important to know what to expect and how to provide the best possible care.


Here are some tips our team has put together:


  • Enlist Professional Help

While some people feel they should be doing everything themselves during this period out of feeling a sense of guilt or obligation, end-of-life care is not a good time to reinvent the wheel and get caught up in researching and planning ways to get a loved one’s affairs in order and provide comfort. There are many affordable options for hiring a geriatric care management team short-term to ensure things run smoothly and free up your time and mental space to focus on processing these final weeks, days, or hours in a comfortable way.


  • Seek legal and financial guidance.

As your loved one approaches the end of their life, a geriatric care manager can bring in trusted and efficient resources to ensure that their legal and financial affairs are in order. This may include creating or updating a will, establishing power of attorney, and planning for funeral and burial arrangements. It's important to seek guidance from an attorney or financial advisor to ensure that everything is in order.


  • Tailor care to their medical needs.

As your loved one’s medical needs change, they may require more pain management or medication to manage their symptoms. To save you from spending precious time trying to navigate communications with the senior’s healthcare teams and insurance providers, your hired geriatric care management team can help you understand their medical needs and ensure that they're receiving the best possible care with expert advocacy for timeliness and efficiency. This may include consulting with a palliative care team or hospice provider.


  • Consider Hospice Care

Hospice care can provide essential support for both your parent and your family during this difficult time. Hospice care is designed to provide comfort and support for patients and families during the end of life. It can include pain management, emotional and spiritual support, and assistance with daily tasks.


  • Communicate Openly and Honestly

Communication is key when it comes to end-of-life care. It's important to have open and honest conversations with your parent or relative about their wishes and preferences. This includes discussing their goals for care, their thoughts on life-sustaining treatments, and what they want their final days to look like. These conversations can be difficult, but they're essential to ensure that the person’s wishes are respected.


  • Focus on Comfort and Quality of Life

At this stage, the focus should be on your loved one’s comfort and quality of life. This means ensuring that they're comfortable, pain-free, and receiving the emotional support they need. You may need to adjust their living arrangements or bring in additional support to ensure that their needs are met.


  • Take Care of Yourself

Providing end-of-life care to an aging loved one can be emotionally and physically taxing. It's important to take care of yourself and seek support as needed. This may include reaching out to friends and family for help, speaking with a counselor or therapist, or attending support groups for caregivers.


Providing end-of-life care to an aging parent can be challenging, but it's also an opportunity to provide comfort, support, and love in their final days. By communicating openly, understanding their medical needs, and focusing on their comfort and quality of life, you can ensure that your parent receives the best possible care during this difficult time.

If you are interested in discussing any matters of aging with a professional on our team, we offer FREE consultation calls every day at 617-405-8796. You can also leave a comment with your question, send us a direct Facebook or Instagram message, or e-mail us at consultations@seniorsteps.org.

Senior Steps provides guidance and assistance with medical, legal, and financial advocacy and planning, and help with activities of daily living.


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