C.A.R.E.S.: A Tool for the Care of the Dying

Bonnie Freeman, RN, DNP, ANP, ACHPN, Compassionate Person-Centered Care for the Dying

Emotional Support (cont.)

Other activities and methods of support to consider:

  • Your humanity is needed the most now. Always be available. Your very presence is reassuring to the family.
  • The family is an important part of your patient care and becomes your focus as the patient becomes more unresponsive.
    • Be sure families are getting rest, and breaks.
    • Provide coffee, water, etc.
    • Continue to be available to answer questions.
    • You cannot take away their pain. Acknowledge their emotions and be present.
  • Play patient’s favorite music.
  • Position bed to see out a window.
  • Encourage family to provide patient’s favorite hat, clothing, etc.
  • Lower or mute lighting.
  • Consider bringing in favorite pet.

“It is the power of our own humanity that can make a difference in the lives of others. We must value this as highly as our own expertise.”

– Puchalski and Ferrell, 2010