How can I give comfort to a dying patient. What can I do or say?

Asked by

Are there tips you can give to me of how to give comfort to a dying relative and any words of comfort to say

Answers 1 to 10 of 11
I am sorry that your relative is at the end of their life. This can be a difficult time in both your life's. We have a whole end of life section on our site to help caregivers like you. https://www.agingcare.com/End-of-Life-Hospice

Also, our editors wrote an article that will help you know what to say to a dying elder.

Words of Comfort: What to Say When Someone is Dying
https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/say-to-someone-who-is-dying-148641.htm

Hope this helps,
Karie
You might want to ask their clergy to visit so they can talk about things that are on their mind during this time.
Hi Edward: I don't know much about your circumstances or the relative you refer too, but I think most people who are dying would appreciate having those they love close by; someone to hold their hand to tell them their life had meaning and that their presence was a comfort and example to those they loved.

I also thing that people who are dying don't want to suffer. They are comforted by actions taken to make their passing peaceful. Sometimes, those with breathing issues benefit from a morphine drip that helps reduce the panic they feel when they can't get enough air. Don't be afraid to use it.

My friend's husband was dying of cancer. He had a difficult night, hadn't slept well and knew the end was near, and in the morning told his wife that it was time to start the morphine drip. He died later in the day. He wasn't elderly, but was very aware of the progression of his illness and had been through so much.

Sometimes the elderly are not able to be as clear as my friends husband. So they need us to help them pass with comfort and compassion.

I hope my words have given you some guidance or insight. God Bless You for caring and wanting to help your relative. Your compassion is worth more to your relative than anything. Be an advocate for him/her, if you can. Hugs, Cattails.
My Mom passed away in January, so I know what you are going through. With us, I had Hospice come in so someone would visit with her during the day when I was working. The last week, a family member stayed 24 hours. It comforted her to know that someone was there. If she wanted to talk, we did, but she slept a lot. Her minister also visited her. They did give her Morphine which greatly helped as she was getting very confused and agitated at the end. My advice is just to be there for them. Let them know you love them.
My 101-year-old father died this past New Year's Day. The week before he died he was very agitated, in some pain, and we had hospice to help us. During this week I would read to him. My husband and my brother read to him too. It was really the only thing that kept him calm and seemed to give him something else to think about other than his discomfort and fear. I continued to read to him even when he was no longer responsive, because I thought he could still hear me and it would comfort him, and was reading to him when he died. We read from the Bible, but perhaps you could ask your relative if there is something he or she would like to hear read aloud. Or maybe just start reading, even if they don't ask for it, and see how it goes! It can comfort you too. Wishing you strength during these hard days.
I love what lilymama had to say. Sometimes I think people feel so uncomfortable with a sick or dying person that they have to socialize... Reading in bible is a great comfort! Ask them if they have certain "books" in the bible that they would like to hear! Ask if they would just like you to be there with them quietly, just reassuring them you are there. Ask if they would like to hear music? Maybe a cool or warm face cloth to make them feel fresher... I feel that someone dying just doesn't want to be alone. They do want to know that they are loved or cared about. I think it must be scary, especially if they do not have religion Or a belief to know that they are going to a better place when their life is over. That makes me sad! Some people want to make a mends with friends or family...dying people will suffer and hold on as long as they can in hopes of just saying good bye or I'm sorry. I believe that the living need to ask the dying what they want for this time in their last days. Dignity. Love. Peace. They know they are dying, they may want to reminisce and do all the talking. Ask the specific questions , ask for honest answers... If they don't have answers let them. Know it is ok!!! Let them know you are there!
When the Colonel was dying, his family (wife, actually) chose to have him in his room, alone, for all of his final days. This was probably a week or more. It's so sad to think back on. I would come and hold his hand silently, thinking I wasn't doing anything "good". But when I would have to go tend to the wife, he would whisper "Come back". We played soft music about 18 hours a day in his room. I think candles might be nice, or a light spritz of lavender oil. Remind the dying person of the positive things they've done in your life, and tell them that they've done a good job of providing for those left behind. Watch carefully for facial grimacing when touching the dying person. They may be comforted by, or irritated by, your touch. Always know they can hear you. Speak comfort and encouragement. I always told the Colonel that I was taking good care of his wife, and that she was okay. God bless you as you walk though this necessary part of our lives...
I think the most important thing is to let them know it's OK to let go of life. Too many of us worry so much about hanging on for other people - time to let us "Let Go and Let God". I had a group of choral singers in that gave my sister a beautiful farewell in the Hospice, and she passed away peacefully with her husband and myself holding her hands a few hours later. Music can be a great soother, as can prayer or any kind of ritual.
Always lend a caring ear and let them know that you are there whenever needed. Sitting with them, touching and holding them in your arms or just holding their hand can be very comforting! Praying for you as I am in the same postion but I am a caregiver to a lady that has COPD and is on Hospice at home. Hospice is great if you have any questions about these sort of things and what to expect and how to handle things! God Bless!
Top Answer
When my lady Ruth was dieing, I sat by her bed and talked about all the laughter, all the shared stories about her horrible daughter, things she would tell me years before I came to take care of her at the end... I talked about her husband, her grandkids, she so loved her grandchildren... she was not responsive, but I still knew she could hear me... I made arrangements for her grandson in Kuwait to call her... the only time she opened her eyes and she smiled hearing his voice.... he couldn't get home, but she still needed to hear his voice.... all the grandkids came and had one on one time with her or anytime they wanted to set with her... Her oldest grandson and she was very close, he spent a lot of time with her, just talking, laughing and rememeber when... type of conversations.... what would you want someone to do with you, if it were you lieing there??? Like many have said, I would like to ktnow my time on earth meant something, that I had touched lives, and the laughter.... I am a goof ball, so I pray those that are with me at the end find things to laugh about.... I personally don't want to be read to, I would rather they talk about memories....Isn't that something... we never ask our loved ones what they want at the end?? when they can still tell us.... I have let everyone know what i want, And cry if you need to... let it all be real, and let us end it with love...

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support