Palliative care doesn’t only involve the patient, and palliative support does not stop when the patient dies.
Compassionate palliative care services provide ongoing bereavement support to family members and loved ones during the process.
Family members are encouraged to have an open, continuous dialogue with one another, and with the patient.
Family members also need to know that there are times when they’ll need to take a step back from the situation, and should not feel guilty about it. Palliative care professionals will encourage the family to remember to look after their own individual physical and emotional needs to avoid the risk of others getting sick as well.
A full range of emotions can emerge from the family members of a dying loved one. Family members should react to a palliative care situation exactly as they need to in their own ways. They have the right to be sad, angry and scared, and need to know that they don’t have to be strong all the time. They should ask all the questions they want of the healthcare professionals involved, and get as much support as possible.
It’s not easy to lose a loved one, and the lives of the bereaved are impacted in many ways. It is essential for them to heal after their loss. Families are often shaken by being involved in the end of life care of a loved one. Health care professionals can provide the best palliative care by understanding the emotional experiences of family members and offering the most support possible.
Compassionate care works with the family to deal with the stress and emotions of observing a loved one in their final stage of life. Families of an end-of-life patient may not know what to do or how to feel or even if what they are feeling is normal. Grief is universal, but very individual. Grief can affect a person on many levels – physically, emotionally and spiritually. The impact of grief may affect a family member’s interpersonal relationships with others, and with the medical staff involved.
At Qualicare Ottawa, our personal care managers will listen. They offer emotional support to all, and provide ongoing options that help to maintain a calm, caring and peaceful atmosphere.