What shall we do about the elderly dying with dementia, losing who they are — how do we help them “die well”?

My mom is at the end stage. She is losing her abilities to speak, to eat. How do I help her? Is it okay to talk about dying with her? I do read to her, I tell her I love her, I see her as often as I can at her long-term care home. But as she declines, I am not sure how to help her “die well.”

I have had a great sense of healing in my time with her in this stage of life, but as I see her becoming less and less connected I am not sure what to do. How can I help her at this stage? Perhaps just being there, holding her hand, reading, I am not sure. How do we address her dying? Is it okay to talk about it? I don’t want her to die without being at peace about it.


Annie Voldman, in response to "Contemplating Mortality"

We received this powerful note with searching questions yesterday from a listener in Vermont. What advice would you offer her, or suggestions on resources that would give her good counsel? Please leave them in the comments section and we’ll forward on. Many thanks for your help.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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  1. wordstorecignize reblogged this from beingblog
  2. hudsonlgardner said: Be together, without trying to fix anything, or make anything happen. Be transparent with your sadness and frustration. Don’t take on tasks that are bigger than you can handle. You can’t save people.. you can only love them.
  3. mysticmaggie reblogged this from beingblog
  4. mywharton said: I think I would want someone there with me. I would bring old photos. I would talk as though she understood every word. We don’t know what is happening inside that body. I believe in the sentient being. Tell her it is okay to leave is she wants.
  5. beingblog posted this