‘Good Death’ in End-of-Life Care for Cancer Patients

Amorous senior man looking at his wife during conversation

Many caregivers wonder about the next steps for their patients when cancer is very advanced, and treatment is no longer working or has been stopped. They wonder what to do when the end of life is near and how to manage feelings of grief as well.

These are some things a person may experience during the last stage of life, usually as death gets closer. It’s important to know that each person’s experience is different. It’s not always normal to feel bad, and there are often things that we can do to help you feel better. We also give some tips on how to manage these symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite changes
  • Difficulty in breathing

The patient needs to be given the correct treatment according to which symptoms are visible. However, as family members, you might find it difficult in knowing what to do when such symptoms occur. Don’t worry—at Ameriprime hospice, all this will be taken care of. We will direct the correct medications and practices for the patient.

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye is hard—it does not come easily. It also may be hard to do because of the patient’s health or the place where they are receiving care. Since every person’s situation is different, no one can predict what may happen at the end of life.

Some of the hints that may help you when you can’t say goodbye are:

  • Be open and ready to let go knowing the end of life is approaching.
  • Try to avoid topics and unpleasant memories that may cause hurt stress, or pain.
  • Try as much as possible to express your love for your cancer patient.
  • Do not be limited to physical communication for people out of town or travelling, such as phone calls, video calls, Skype, or other technology.

What Are the Signs That Death Has Occurred for a Cancer Patient?

  • Breathing stops
  • One cannot hear their blood pressure
  • Pulse stops
  • Eyes stop moving and may stay open
  • Pupils of the eyes remain large, even in bright light
  • They may lose control of bowels or bladders due to the relaxation of muscles

After death, it’s all right if you want to sit with the person for a while. There’s no rush to get anything done right away. Many families find this is a critical time to pray or talk together and reaffirm their love for each other, as well as for the person who has passed away.

A Compassionate and Caring Team

As a caregiver, know that even those who are unconscious or unresponsive may still be able to know you are present and can hear what you’re saying. So, speak love and hope. If you’re having trouble managing your emotions and need a counsellor or mental health specialist, consider Ameriprime hospice providers for help. If you are in Dallas, Richardson, Carrolton, Garland, and surrounding TX communities, don’t hesitate to contact us at Ameriprime Hospice. For more information, reach us on (972) 787-0949 or on the contact form on our website.

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