This section has been written for the caregiver, but many patients want this same information for themselves. It lists some signs that death may be close and gives the caregivers some ideas about what they may do to help.
People often use this time to gather the family to say goodbye to their loved one. They may take turns with the patient, holding hands, talking to the patient, or just sitting quietly. It can also be a time to perform any religious rituals and other activities the patient wants before death. It’s a chance for many families and friends to express their love and appreciation for the patient and for each other.
It’s important to have a plan for what to do after death, so that people with the patient know what to do during this very emotional time. If the patient is in hospice, the hospice nurse and social worker will help you. If the patient is not in hospice, talk with the doctor about it so that you will know exactly what to do at the time of death.