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What are some things you can do as a caregiver for someone who has end-stage COPD?

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If your loved one has end-stage COPD, it may mean that they may be close to dying. Here are some things that can help ease your loved one’s final days:

Moisten their lips and mouth. Dip a mouth swab into water to help with dryness. These look like tiny sponges attached to a lollipop stick. Use a nonpetroleum-based lip balm to lock in moisture.

Ask what makes them feel better. For instance, gently move their arms and legs to make them more comfortable.

Create a soothing atmosphere. Dim the lights or safely light candles.

It’s believed hearing is the last sense to go before death. So, act as if they can hear you even if they don’t respond.

  • Gently hold their hand and read a favorite poem or religious passage
  • Play some music they love
  • Remind them of funny or touching family memories

SOURCES:

British Lung Foundation: “What Are the Physical Signs in the Last Weeks or Days?” “How Do I Care for a Loved One at the End of Life?”

American Lung Association: “Learn about COPD,” “Planning for the Future with COPD,” “Palliative Care and COPD.”

Samaritan Hospice and Palliative Care: “End-Stage COPD: What to Expect at the End of Life.”

Stanford School of Medicine: “Home Hospice: Home Care of the Dying Patient.”

Hospice UK: “Being with Someone When They Die.”

End of Life Washington: “The Symptoms of Dying.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on July 30, 2020

SOURCES:

British Lung Foundation: “What Are the Physical Signs in the Last Weeks or Days?” “How Do I Care for a Loved One at the End of Life?”

American Lung Association: “Learn about COPD,” “Planning for the Future with COPD,” “Palliative Care and COPD.”

Samaritan Hospice and Palliative Care: “End-Stage COPD: What to Expect at the End of Life.”

Stanford School of Medicine: “Home Hospice: Home Care of the Dying Patient.”

Hospice UK: “Being with Someone When They Die.”

End of Life Washington: “The Symptoms of Dying.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on July 30, 2020

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