Purpose: Allow time to just be as you are in the final months and weeks.
Hands-on caregiving may continue or come to an end because your caree needs more care than you physically can provide. During this stage you focus more on “being” than “doing.” It is important to find and allow time to grieve and mourn the impending loss of your loved one, and reflect on your lives together and what you have been through in this process. You may even find yourself wondering what you will do when caregiving ends.
- This stage focuses on what professionals call “anticipatory grief”. Beth Erickson, Ph.D describes anticipatory grief as (Erickson Ph.D., Beth, 2013):
“what happens when you know there will be a loss, but it has not yet occurred. This is what happens when a loved one is dying, and both the patient and their loved ones have time to prepare. Anticipatory grief is both the easiest and the hardest kind of grief to experience. It is marked by “stop and go” signals. With these losses, the handwriting is on the wall… but it doesn’t make coping with it easier.”
- Now is the time to request the help of hospice. Go to the hospice section of this website to learn more about the gift of hospice.
- As the caregiver, you and the caree will need to make important medical decisions about future medical care.