10 Tips on How to Cope With News of Terminal Illness

When a health condition advances, doctors might declare it a terminal illness. It is not easy to predict how much time anyone has before death occurs. It could be a few months or weeks, and the upsetting news can negatively affect you and your loved ones. How do you cope with this sad reality?

It is Okay to React

You cannot predict how you would react if the doctor says the disease is too hard to cure. Everyone reacts differently. The shocking news is almost unbearable, and that’s why some people go silent. You will most likely not believe what you’ve heard. It is okay to cry. Whether you feel scared, agitated, or numb, know that the feelings are normal. Take time to admit the reality even if you want to be alone.If your loved ones suggest Hospice Care, know that they are doing it out of love. As tough as it may be, don’t try to suppress the emotions. You can still express and manage them no matter how hard it seems.

Decide How You Want to Die

You have all the rights to choose where you wish to die. Your priorities, treatment method, and extent of the illness will determine your decision on planning a good death. It can take time to plan how you will die at home. Depending on your health condition, you might need a dedicated caregiver apart from the family members.Many who die in hospitals are subject to infections due to over-medication or unwanted contacts. End-of-life care tends to differ according to socioeconomic status. The good news is that there are nursing homes for all levels of income earners.A report compiled by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) indicates that Medicare beneficiaries dying annually (2 million) represent 80% of total deaths in the USA. Only half of them die at hospice facilities, meaning that the other half spends their end of life days at home. Do not overlook the quality of treatment from a good nursing home, hospital, or hospice. Once you set your priorities right, communicate with the family and doctors to see if you have chosen a viable option.


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Be Kind to Yourself

As mentioned, it is normal to experience a range of emotions. How you react to those feelings is what matters as you approach death. Since not everything has or will go well, it is high time to forgive yourself. Some days, you will not handle matters as you would wish. Love and accept yourself.

Make Every Day Count

The most exciting moments are not found in big events or exotic vacations. You can make wonderful memories by seizing the day. Take time to reward yourself for living a worthy life. Spending time with a partner or child can be therapeutic. Whether you are listening to music or birds chirping, the idea is to find moments of joy. Get the most out of the little time that is left.

Process That Paperwork

The family needs to know where your vital papers are. Update them if need be. Have a health care directive planned and state your desires in writing. It is this document that spells out who will make your medical decisions if you are unable to. Remember to write down your living will and indicate the kind of treatments you prefer towards the end of life. You might also want to draft a Do Not Resuscitate order. Your doctor should also sign the paperwork. If possible, you can choose to donate organs to help others. Put detailed instructions in the health care directive.

Note: This is a collaborative post
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