How Will I Know if Death is Near?Arevik
Everyone’s death is different. Dying rarely looks like it does on the television screen. The Arclight Hospice staff will keep you abreast of changes as they occur. Here are some common changes that occur days or hours before death. Remember that not everyone experiences all these changes. The Arclight Hospice staff will continually work too and sure that your loved one is comfortable and relaxed.
Many people experience a burst of energy a few days before they experience a rapid decline. Individuals who were previously very weak or confused may have some lucid moments.
Food and drink are not needed or desired. This fact is difficult for families to accept. Too much fluid increases the risk of congestion. Eating and drinking are exhausting. The nutrients aren’t needed.
Your loved one may undergo mental and emotional changes. Changes include agitation, confusion, hallucinations, and restlessness. Maintaining a calm presence is vital. Medications can be helpful.
Your loved one will probably not produce much urine for several days.
The body’s wisdom diverts blood flow away from non-vital organs to organs essential for life, such as the lungs, heart, and brain. As a result, your loved one’s hands, arms, feet, legs, ears, mouth, and nose may turn blue or grey. The same body parts are usually cold to touch even if the rest of the body is not. As death grows closer, mottling, a blue discoloration, increases climbing from the toes up the legs and from the fingers up the arms. Mottling is painless.
Many people run fevers off and on. Family members often think that this means that the person has an infection. Usually, it just means that the body’s natural thermostat in the brain isn’t working as well as it used to.
The breathing changes. It may be fast and then slow. Sometimes you may look and not even see the person breathing. Other times, people get congested and have difficulty breathing. Positioning and medication can help relieve the breathing changes.
As death grows closer, your loved one will likely become less conscious. Unresponsiveness increases occur with or without the use of medication. Keep in mind that even though the person may seem unaware, they may still be able to hear you as the sense of hearing remains even after the other senses are no longer working.
The eyes may be cloudy or dry. Sometimes they stay half-open.
Some of the changes may be difficult for you to witness. You must be aware of the changes so that you understand that what you’re seeing is normal Please ask the Arclight Hospice team members any questions that you have. We will keep your loved one comfortable and at peace. Remember, we are here for your loved one and you.