Supporting Those Receiving Terminal Illness Treatment

When a close friend or beloved family member has been diagnosed with a terminal illness such as cancer or HIV, many people are unsure of how to act. Should they keep vigil by the individual’s bed side night and day? When talking to the terminally ill person should they avoid topics of conversation related to the illness? Is it best to act as if nothing is out of the ordinary?

The answers to these questions are not always clear, which leads to stress and confusion, and ultimately may keep a concerned friend or relative from interacting with the sick individual at all. To help with some of the questions, family illness treatment might be a solution.

To help avoid that extreme situation, the following tips provide useful information for those who want nothing more than to support someone with a terminal illness, but are unsure of how to do so.

Utilize the things that made your relationship special before the illness

Don’t lose sight of what made your relationship with the terminally ill person special before he or she got sick
If you used to share secrets, or just talk about TV all day long, use those things to help support that person now.

Don’t push them to talk about the illness
Don’t force the individual to talk about their feelings, their fears, etc. Everyone is different, and may be going through different facets of coping at different times. The best course of action is to let them know that you are there to listen whenever they are ready to talk.

Don’t try and push the individual through any preconceived “stages”
Many people will try and tell you that there are predetermined stages for coping with illness and mortality. And while these stages do appear in most people during the last days of their life, that doesn’t mean there is a “magic formula” for when someone will experience denial, acceptance or other aspects of coping.

Don’t push someone to fit into how you think they should be acting at a given moment

Encourage them to talk about their life
Pleasant memories can help the individual reflect about their lives and everything they have accomplished. With you there to keep things positive, and not bogged down with regrets, this can be a very therapeutic time for the individual coping with the coming end to their life.

Don’t deny denial
Many people think of denial as a universally bad thing. While it can prevent some healing from taking place, denial also serves as a kind of natural protection device…lets in acceptance little by little, and only so much as the individual can handle at one time.

Just be there
Whether you talk for hours, or sit by the bed side and never say a word, your presence is the greatest gift you can give the person with a terminal illness.

Moonview Sanctuary offers holistic treatment for individuals with a terminal illness and their families to heal. The Transformational Health programs at Moonview are build on the philosophy that uplifting the spirit and strengthening the mind can reap great rewards in the physical world. Contact Moonview today for more information about their Transformational Health programs specifically related to issues of terminal illness.

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