If your family member is nearing the end stage of stomach cancer, there are a lot of questions you probably have. November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to understand as much as you can about what you and your family member can expect. It’s also important to know more about what end-of-life care can do to help your family member as much as possible.
Fatigue is certainly normal when your elderly family member is battling an illness as serious as stomach cancer. But as she edges closer to the end of her life, your elderly family member is likely to find that it’s much more difficult for her to stay awake. She may find that she needs a lot more rest than before. She’s also likely to find that her fatigue doesn’t seem to ease after rest.
Loss of Appetite
It may already be difficult for your family member to eat because of the challenges of stomach cancer, but her appetite may wane further. She may find that she no longer wants to eat or drink, which can lead to dehydration and other issues. One big problem is dry mouth and cracked lips. Sucking on ice chips can help some, as well as using lip balm to protect the skin on her lips.
Disorientation and Difficulty Focusing
As your family member edges closer to the end of her life, she’s also going to have more difficulty focusing on conversations and what’s happening around her. She may also be more disoriented in general. This can lead to not recognizing family members and being unable to participate in what’s going on. This typically worsens as your family member’s health continues to decline. Caregivers can help by leaving visual prompts for your family member about things like what day it is and who is there with her.
Breathing patterns are likely to change and it may become much more difficult for your family member to breathe at all. She may start to experience things like more fluid building up in her lungs. This is often due to inflammation as well as being more sedentary and having difficulty moving. End-of-life care providers can help your family member to find positions that she can rest in that help to make breathing easier.
There may be a lot of other symptoms as well that indicate your family member is closer to passing away from stomach cancer. These can include symptoms like incontinence, increased pain, nausea, and vomiting. The exact symptoms your family member might experience can vary, of course, but what matters most is that she has the help that she needs to manage those symptoms as well as possible before she does pass away.
There is so much going on at the end of your family member’s life, especially when they’re in the final stages of a cancer battle. Knowing that end-of-life care professionals are there to help your entire family find the resources that you need can be way more helpful than you realize.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering End of Life Care in Gainesville, TX please contact the caring staff at Ardent Healthcare today. 469-293-1515