How To Comfort a Dying Patient 

How To Comfort a Dying Patient 
          When working in healthcare it is established that you will be working around people nearing the end of their life, especially if you’re working in a retirement or long-term care home. My friends who are doctors, RNs, LPNs, and PSWs say that it is a regular occurrence that someone is dying at their place of work. They’re even able to spot the early signs of death just by looking at someone. As heartbreaking as it may be for the family members and loved ones of the dying patient, it is healthcare’s job to make sure they pass away peacefully. Although it depends on the patient’s condition as their condition can be risky or even difficult. In this week’s blog post we’re going to be discussing how you can comfort a dying patient and make their passing, peaceful.  

Play Music

         When a previous roommate of mine came home after a long shift, she told me that one of her patients had died. This took place around the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when loved ones were not allowed into hospitals, despite their relatives being in critical condition. She told me that she comforted the dying patient by playing music for them. This is something that a lot of healthcare workers do for dying patients, as it is a way for them to relax. As the pandemic went on, my roommate had to do this with more of her patients. She would often find out the patient’s favorite song from when they were young, or one that reminded them of a happy time in their life. 


Peaceful Environment

         Along with putting on a tune that allows the patient to relax or to remind them of a happy time, creating a calming atmosphere or mood in the room that they’re in is another way to ease their passing. Dimming the lights, speaking to them softly, and making sure that they have their family with them is another great way to help them. Whether the patient is conscious or not, having their family with them will not allow them to feel lonely or alone. You can also speak softly to the patient, move carefully and make sure you are as silent as possible. Lastly, touch them gently if need be.


Help In Any Way Possible

         The best thing for you to do when caring for a dying patient is to help them in any way possible. Despite them living in their final moments of life, you want to make sure that the patient feels cared for and does not feel like they are being forgotten. For example, if the patient’s lips or mouth is getting dry, hydrate them by bringing them some water. Encourage their family to remain with them. If they’re in an unfortunate event where nobody can be there, be there for them as the caretaker. Caring for a dying patient means that you have to make them feel as seen, heard and comfortable as much as possible.  


         As stated at the beginning of this blog post, depending on the patient’s condition it may be hard to do these things while they are nearing the end of their life. However, if you can care for them, we hope that the topics discussed like playing music, creating a calming atmosphere by dimming the lights, and by helping them in any way possible, can ease them in their final moments. One last thing that I want to conclude with this blog post is the importance of the family members who are losing their loved ones, to be strong. In their time of despair, healthcare workers are the pillars who will comfort them and their loved ones. 


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