There are many ways to provide emotional support, but they should reflect
the wishes and needs of the dying person. Being excluded from the lives of
others is painful to a dying person; however, people may want to handle this
interaction in different ways.
For instance, conversations and activities with family members can help
dying loved ones feel that they are a part of family life. The presence of
children may be comforting and the physical touch of loved ones may be
reassuring. However, individuals may have different preferences for how much
company or conversation they want. Some people enjoy a great deal of touching;
others do not. For some, children may be energizing, for others,
For some, locating their bed near family activities can help to increase
social interaction and improve their emotional well-being; for others, it might
be intrusive. Moreover, their wishes may change as their illness progresses. It
is important to always ask the person what they prefer at any particular
Hospice professionals and others with experience in caring for the dying can
help enhance communication among the dying person and family members.