End-of-life planning can be quite a stressful time, but it’s inevitable if you wish to leave behind a legacy for your loved ones. You will have to make a few tough decisions during this time, but honestly, any effort you put in now will benefit your loved ones greatly later.
Here’s a checklist to follow while going about your healthcare planning:
This includes a range of medications, treatments, and healthcare equipment that help the body remain functional after an illness or injury. The use of life support is slightly controversial, but it’s the only resort when the recovery of the person is highly unlikely. Artificial nutrition, ventilator, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are a few life support options you need to consider.
The use of healthcare facilities is another decision you will have to make while planning your healthcare. You need a facility that’s certified by Medicare or Medicaid. The cost of treatment, follow-up options with doctors, types of activities, meals, terms of stay, and conditions are crucial factors to consider.
Organ and tissue donation are important treatment options for people who wish to extend their lifespan. Some people decide to donate their organs after death to someone who’s in dire need. Your healthcare directive should express these wishes so that necessary steps can be taken by your physician when the time comes.
Healthcare power of attorney, also called a healthcare proxy, is a legal document that authorizes someone else to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. This becomes particularly important if you are incapacitated due to an injury or an illness. Make sure you give this right to someone you trust and who knows your preferences.
The above are a few elements that you need to keep in mind while doing healthcare planning. Following these tips will surely make your end-of-life planning smooth and beneficial to your desires and needs.
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The item that tops any stress index is the demise of a partner. This is an inevitable life factor applicable to 50% of couples. The shock of the survivor is beyond words to describe. He or she should have the resources to master the situation in the best way possible. It is a fact that time is the best healer.
What is the best immediate soother?
The surviving partner most likely will decide to carry through life positively while cherishing the memories of the departed partner. The children can play a vital role in ensuring that their living parent moves forward in life with a pronounced purpose.
Let the parent talk
Every individual has unique ways of experiencing grief. Most people withdraw into their shells and remain silent. A knowing son or daughter will be patient to deal with their physical requirements with understanding. They can talk among themselves about the lost parent so that the survivor hears the conversation. Slowly inspire and stimulate your father or mother to talk about their partner.
Be There For The Survivor Emotionally And Physically
Nobody can replace a missing spouse, but you have the same blood. Provide physical assistance in cleaning the house, shopping, or taking out the car to the garage. Most importantly, find ways to spend quality time together. Bring the grandchildren along when you visit.
Don't let your mom or dad suppress their feelings. You, too, are going through a sea of sentiments. Face up to those emotions together.
Learn About Sorrow
To be caring for your parent, educate yourself regarding the agony of loss. This will enable you to detect reactions from your parent, which stemmed from grief easily. There are several grief reactions:
For sure, the best thing you can do for your parent is simply to be present and available.
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COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down, affecting even the way we say our final goodbyes to our loved ones. Due to the highly infectious nature of the virus, social distancing has been recommended as one of the most preventive measures by health authorities, which is required to be followed during funerals as well.
This means that funerals and memorials can no longer have as many people. It is best to keep the number of attendees at a minimum, preferably not more than ten people. Especially if the gathering is located indoors, there is a higher chance of the virus spreading, which makes minimum attendees and social distancing (at least 6 feet apart from each other) among individuals from different households crucial.
It is suggested that the ceremony is held in an outdoor location or a well-ventilated indoor space that can freely accommodate all the guests. Moreover, everyone present must wear a mask and avoid touching each other even if it’s just shaking hands.
Another important precautionary measure you shouldn’t ignore is regularly sanitizing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects. These may include tabletops, countertops, door handles, and so on.
Also, everyone present should be either washing their hands thoroughly with soap or handwash once they reach the funeral location, or using a hand sanitizer. If elders, who have a higher risk of contracting the virus, are present, it is even more crucial that these measures are followed.
Grieving the death of a loved one is already hard enough as it is, but when you have to go through this during a pandemic where a deadly, infectious virus is ravaging the entire world, it can be extremely overwhelming. Making sure that you follow all the safety protocols for a funeral that will keep anyone present from being at risk is an important step you can take to lessen the stress.
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When you are faced with an intense trauma such as the death of someone you love, you may not be ready to completely feel all the emotions that loss brings. Or maybe, you are someone who has gone through life repressing most emotional pains that you have experienced because you are afraid to process your emotions.
Repressing these overwhelming emotions and keeping yourself numb instead of grieving and mourning is a common response to losing a loved one, but definitely not the healthiest. This is what delayed grief is – repression of emotional pain that results from a traumatic experience. In other words, you don’t fully experience your grief until later on.
These repressed emotions will likely surface later on, which can lead to mental and emotional breakdowns. Even if they don’t surface and you don’t deal with them directly, they have a significant psychological impact on you and influence your thought patterns and behavior, even when you don’t realize it.
What does delayed grief feel and look like?
If you are experiencing delayed grief, you may show several emotional, mental, as well as physical symptoms later than expected. You may feel completely numb and detached, and you may feel more moody or anxious than usual. This will obviously affect your day-to-day life. Your personal relationships and work may suffer.
People experiencing delayed grief also tend to have headaches, body aches and pains, disrupted sleeping patterns, and loss in appetite.
What to do if you are experiencing delayed grief?
It is important to know that people react to loss in different ways, and there is no normal or accepted way to grieve. If you suspect that you are dealing with delayed grief, make sure that you are putting in extra effort to look after your health. It can be easy to slip into unhealthy coping mechanisms that can affect both your mental and physical health, so focus on self-care.
Also, make a conscious effort to stay connected to the people you love like your friends and family, and know that you don’t have to be isolated. There is no shame in reaching out for help.
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The coronavirus may have brought the entire world to a halt, but nothing can hit pause on loss and grieving. If you have lost a dear one during this global pandemic, wrapping your head around it and coming to terms with your loss may be difficult. Here are some important things to remember while you are grieving:
Losing a loved one is painful as it is, but when it happens during a pandemic while almost the whole world is in lockdown, it can be an even heavier weight. Grieving when you have to practice social distancing is difficult for anyone, which is why reaching out to others via phone calls, text messages, video calls, etc. is so important. Make use of the communication tools available to remind yourself that you are not alone.
With social restrictions in place, you may not be able to attend the funeral of your loved one, or the funeral may have been postponed. Don’t let these restrictions, which are completely out of your control, result in guilty feelings. Believe that you are doing as best as you can during this difficult time. You don’t need the additional weight of guilt on top of the grief that you are experiencing.
Maybe you are not grieving the way you thought you would. Maybe you are experiencing disbelief and shock, or maybe you are extremely sad. Perhaps, you are angry, or you feel numb. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, especially at a time like this, when our mental health is not at its best. You might not grieve the same way you would have under normal circumstances, so be patient with yourself.
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