People who face a terminal diagnosis with an advanced stage of lung cancer may have made plans for their end of life or may have entered hospice. Towards the end, people who suffer from this disease may experience some signs that death is near such as significant changes in body temperature, energy levels, blood pressure, and other bodily functions.
Understanding End of Life Signs
Understanding exactly what is happening as death approaches a loved one may help you feel more comfortable with your own emotions, allowing you to support your loved one more fully.
The following may indicate a person is nearing death. These signs of the end of life may begin to occur a few weeks, a few days, or a few hours before dying.
Lack of Energy
As a person approaches death, he or she will experience a noticeable reduction in energy levels, which corresponds with a reduction in appetite.
People close to death also may begin sleeping more than usual.
In the case of imminent death, someone may stop eating and drinking completely. Giving your loved one lip balm or ice chips may help to maintain a comfort level.
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Changes in Social Behavior
As people approaching death weaken, they may not want to visit with others as much as they once did. The ill person may not want others to see them in such a weakened state, or they may just feel too tired to have visitors.
Other people may want more visitors, hoping to make the most of the time they have left. It is best to let each ill person handle visitors in the way he or she feels fully comfortable.
A person nearing death may exhibit a blood pressure measurement that steadily drops or may show a weakening heartbeat. Breathing may become raspy or shallow. The person’s body temperature may fall below normal.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that muscle weakness may leave the ill person unable to lift a glass for a drink. The patient may need more help from loved ones to do simple tasks, which can prove frustrating for the person nearing death.
The ill person may become too weak to use the bathroom. This is where hospice care can help your loved one maintain their dignity.
A person nearing death may begin to experience times where they are not fully aware of what is happening. The person may begin to see things that are not there, or they may easily become confused.
Loved ones helping to care for the ill person can talk with them in a calm manner to remind them of who is visiting and where they are.
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Increase in Pain
For other members of the family, watching a dying loved one suffer from additional pain from lung cancer complications or other illnesses represents one of the most difficult parts of this process.
Caretakers can give the person close to death pain medication to ease the patient’s final days. Medical professionals strive to make the person close to death as comfortable as possible.
Choosing to Use Hospice Care When Nearing Death
As the doctor informs you and your loved one that treatments no longer will work, the physician may suggest the ill person should enter hospice care.
Hospice care aims to help people who suffer from a terminal diagnosis and likely will die in the next several months. With hospice, the ill person can receive pain relief, as well as important emotional support.
Some people do not like the idea of entering hospice care because they believe it may represent giving up. You do not give up on your loved one with hospice care, rather you simply support them in a more effective way at this stage of their illness.
An ill person who suddenly improves could leave hospice care. Some hospice care may occur at home, where the ill person will feel more comfortable versus staying in a hospital or long-term care facility.
Call for a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney
If a doctor informed you or a loved one that treatments no longer serve an effective purpose for the lung cancer diagnosis and that death is imminent, we know you are experiencing grief and sadness. We understand that no award amount can truly compensate you for this loss.
However, if the lung cancer occurred because of the negligence of another party, you do have the right to seek compensation. Through a lung cancer lawsuit, you can hold the offending party responsible.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we stand ready to guide you through the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit related to the lung cancer that resulted from another party exposing you or your loved one to a toxic substance. We work on a contingency fee basis. Call us today at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation.