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Support For Caregivers

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Establish Patient's Wishes

Patient's wishes may change as time goes on.

Patient's wishes should be reviewed by the patient, loved ones and the health care surrogate as time goes on. This includes:

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Treat Causes of Symptoms

May require treating the disease itself:

  • Radiation for liver pain patients with cancer spreading
  • Stent placement for swallowing

Treating the disease itself may not be possible or may be at odds with hospice care.

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Treat Symptoms


  • Methadone Information for Patients and Families

Air Hunger

  • Breathing

Urine and Feces

  • Constipation Near the End of Life
  • Nausea: Where Does it Come From?

Special beds

  • Help patient locate and obtain help from Hospice or Visiting Nurses.


  • Finding a Good Night's Sleep: Understanding Insomnia

Further Symptoms

  • Anxiety Relief: Relaxation, Massage, Anti-anxiety Medications
  • Weakness
  • Depression - Depression in Palliative Care
  • Loss of Appetite- Food at End of Life
  • Swelling
  • Rashes
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Signs that Death is Near

  • Profound weakness
  • Bed bound
  • Drowsy for extended periods of time
  • Disoriented to time
  • Severely limited attention span
  • Uninterested in food and fluids
  • Unable to swallow
  • Labored breathing
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Signs of Death

  • Not responsive
  • No breathing
  • No pulse in the neck
  • Eyes don't respond
  • Stiffness of extremities
  • Coldness of skin
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Coordinate with Caregivers

  • Not Calling 911
  • Everyone needs to know patient's wishes
  • Everyone needs to know advance directives and living will status
  • Availability of a Memo to Loved Ones
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