End-of-life care

By Mayo Clinic Staff

When a loved one is dying, conversations about the end of life may be uncomfortable and hard. Still, talking about end-of-life care is important.

Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to help your loved one make important end-of-life decisions. Those decisions may include whether to remain at home, move to a nursing home or other facility, or seek hospice care. Work with the health care team to make sure that your loved one remains comfortable at the end of life. Pain, breathing problems, anxiety and other end-of-life symptoms often can be eased.

Think about end-of-life issues that go beyond medical care too. Decide how best to communicate with and provide updates to other family members and friends. If possible, talk to your loved one about their preferences for a funeral or other memorial service. Find out if your loved one has a will or other legal documents that will be needed after death.

Even at the end of life, you can continue to support and nurture your relationship with your loved one. Simply being there can be an important source of strength and comfort for all involved.

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Sept. 07, 2023