If you are terminally ill, it’s important to make sure that your affairs are in order. You can do this by having discussions with your family members and loved ones, and making sure that they know what’s going on with you. You should also talk about how you want to die—if at all possible—and what kind of funeral arrangements you’d like. Here are out top 10 tips for terminally ill patients.
1. Understand your diagnosis and prognosis
- A prognosis is a prediction of how a disease or condition will progress, based on the patient’s medical history and the results of any tests. A diagnosis is the identification of a disease or condition. This can be either confirmed or refuted by further testing.
- Know what is available to you, and what isn’t.
- Be prepared for questions from family members, friends, doctors and others about your condition.
2. Have a family meeting
You should have a family meeting to discuss your diagnosis and what to do next. This will help everyone feel more comfortable, even if they don’t agree with all of the decisions you make. The meeting should include:
- Those who are going to be affected by your illness.
- Your spouse or significant other (if applicable).
- Your children (if applicable).
- Other relatives and friends who live close enough that they can come visit often.
3. Consider entering hospice care
If you are facing a terminal illness, consider entering hospice care.
- Hospice care is a special type of care for people with a terminal illness or other life-limiting condition that focuses on comfort rather than cure.
- It helps patients and their loved ones deal with grief, pain and other problems during the last days of life.
4. Manage symptoms with palliative care
Palliative care is a way to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with terminal illness. The goal is to reduce pain and suffering, prevent unnecessary suffering, prolong life by preserving physical function, and relieve emotional distress.
Palliative care can help you feel better in many ways:
- It may help you feel more comfortable as your symptoms get worse.
- It may help you feel less anxious about dying because palliative care professionals will be there with you every step of the way if something happens unexpectedly.
5. Plan for a "good death"
- A good death is one that’s comfortable and dignified. You don’t want to be in pain, or feel like you’re being ignored.
- You want to have control over your own care, from the moment you’re diagnosed until your last breath.
- You can start planning for a good death by talking to your doctor about what kind of end-of-life care could be right for you.
6. Say your goodbyes
- Make a list of people to say goodbye to.
- Be realistic about how much time you have left, and be sure that your loved ones are prepared for your death.
- Ask for forgiveness from those you have wronged (and vice versa).
- Myend’s Last Goodbyes service is the perfect way to do all the above.
7. Make sure you have a healthcare proxy
If you’re planning to make decisions on your behalf, it’s important to have a healthcare proxy or power of attorney.
- A healthcare proxy is someone who can make medical decisions for you when the time comes that they have to. It may be someone in your family or close friends who knows what kind of treatment options are right for you, but it could also be a doctor who has experience in treating terminally ill patients and knows how best to manage their condition.
- A power of attorney gives another person permission (or “power”) over your finances while they are alive so they can take care of all financial matters after death has occurred.
- This includes paying bills and funeral expenses if necessary
8. Make sure your important documents are in order
- Make sure that your will is up-to-date.
- Update any financial documents that may be needed—such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney.
- Check in with people who have been named as beneficiaries in your estate plan or other legal documents (for example, a power of attorney). They should be aware of any changes in their situation that could affect how they’re able to manage their finances after you die.
- Myend’s Legacy Contacts can help you create a dynamic end-of-life plan.
9. Prepare a funeral plan
- A funeral plan is a document that outlines your wishes for the disposition of your remains after death.
- It’s important because it helps ensure that you have a gentle, respectful farewell to help ease the pain and stress associated with losing someone close to you.
- The role of a funeral plan is to outline what happens when someone dies, including how they should be buried or cremated.
- You can also include religious rituals such as memorial services and burial plots if desired.
10. Be open about it
- If you’re terminally ill, one of the most important things to do is be honest with yourself and other people around you.
- Don’t hide your illness from others—they deserve to know what’s happening in your life so they can support you as much as possible during these difficult times.
- You don’t have to lie about being sick. It’s not worth lying just so someone won’t feel bad for asking too many questions.
There is no easy way to talk about death. For many people, it’s a taboo topic that they’d rather not think about. Unfortunately, this means that there are many people who don’t have their affairs in order when they die. Therefore, if you’re terminally ill and want to prepare for your death as much as possible, then start taking steps now—before it’s too late! You can sign up for a free Myend account today and try out our detailed the end-of-life planning services.