End of life care isn’t easy on anyone. Coming to the understanding that you’re about to lose a loved one while providing as much care as you can for them is extremely difficult. Not all end of life situations are the same.


For some, it could be hours until their passing, while for others it could be months. You may wonder what you can do to provide care and comfort in the time that is left. Here are some suggestions for caring for someone in their last days.


Those receiving end of life care aren’t usually able to do much for themselves physically. Providing as much comfort as possible is one of the best things you can do for your loved one. It could be anything from adjusting pillows on a bed to helping them to stay clean.


End of life patients can often have difficulty breathing. In this instance, try and keep your loved one propped upright and use a humidifier in the room to increase air quality. Some patients may also experience irritated skin. A simple petroleum jelly can provide relief.


Seek Help

Trying to tend to someone’s needs on your own will only result in neither of you getting what you need. There are professional carers who are trained to provide end of life care, even from home. Whether it’s helping with toileting or medical waste disposal, an experienced nurse can take some of the weight off your shoulders.


Caring for someone at the end of their life can be time consuming and exhausting so the more help you get, the better for both of you. There are many forms of help available to ensure that your loved one gets the specialist care required, no matter what the circumstances. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about the available options.

Emotional Needs 

For those who are mentally aware towards the end of their life, it will be an understandably anxious time. This can cause distress and depression. Many people find that their loved ones have a short fuse and are more irritable than they’re used to.


It’s important that the patient gets the emotional care and reassurance they need at this time. You can help by staying close, providing physical touch, and playing soothing music. If nothing you do makes a difference, talk to your doctor. A medical professional may be able to prescribe medication that helps to calm anxiety and depression, allowing for more comfortable final days.


As the end of a person’s life nears, faith can play a huge part. Many people find comfort and hope in their faith. Your loved one may appreciate seeing an elder, priest, or other leader from a church. Praying together can also provide relief and lessen feelings of anxiety.


For those who are religious there may be the belief that life on Earth isn’t the end. It can provide comfort to believe that there is more after death and that this is just the beginning of a new adventure.

Sharing Memories

When death is near, it can be difficult to focus on anything other than what happens next. Sharing memories is a good way to look back on precious and happy times. Looking back through photos or videos can help the patient to understand what a blessed life they have led.


It’s also an excellent opportunity for loved ones to say thank you. Children can share how their parents positively impacted their lives. Grandchildren can share memories of times that may have been momentarily forgotten. It’s an ideal way to lift the mood of everyone involved.


Practical Tasks

Even though patients are aware that the end of their life is approaching, it won’t stop them from thinking about practical tasks. For example, if your father was a keen gardener, it may frustrate him to see tasks not done in the garden. Practical tasks can include cooking, cleaning, fixing things, and more.


Those who have worked hard to maintain a home and life for so many years, don’t like to let it fall by the wayside when they can’t physically maintain it anymore. It can help to ask your loved one what tasks they would like you to do. There may be something on their mind that they haven’t voiced.


Although never easy, providing end of life care for someone you love can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. To know that your loved one left this life in comfort will help you move on as well as you can.