How to Make the Last Chapter of Life More Bearable to Endure as a Caregiver

For many people, death is a long, slow, difficult process. Some people can live for many weeks on minimal nutrition, hovering in a state that seems more not-here than here, yet unmistakably alive. This can be painful to witness and stressful for a family to endure. Yet it's important to be prepared for this possibility, especially if you're a dementia caregiver, as this is a common end-of-life experience for people with dementia.

What helps:

  • Literally take each hour, each day, as it comes. You've probably been "living in the moment" for quite a while, and this philosophy will continue to be lifesaving.

  • Reach out to family. Celebrate the life that's fading away, and comfort one another with memories.

  • Turn your mind to practicalities, if that helps. Some people are comforted by keeping busy. If this is true for you, you may want to begin to consider future funeral arrangements -- for example, who will give the eulogy and what you might want to say yourself.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio