Caregiver and Patient Resources


Advanced Directives

An advance health care directive, also known as living will, is a legal document where you specify what actions should be taken for your health if you are no longer able to make decisions because of illness or incapacity. A living will is one form of advance directive, where an individual leaves instructions for their treatment. Another form is a specific type of power of attorney or health care proxy, in which you authorize someone (an agent) to make decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated. People are often encouraged to complete both documents to provide comprehensive guidance regarding care.


Understanding Emotions

Fear of the unknown. Anger about your diagnosis. Disbelief of what you may be facing. Anxiety about new decisions. Relief that a long battle with a disease is behind you. You may face these and any number of emotions, often in a short amount of time when a terminal diagnosis is given. Know that you are never alone with Hospice. Our care providers and volunteers are here for you when you need us most to share your feelings with someone. There is no wrong way to go through what you’re going through. Talk with your care providers about any psychological or spiritual issues you may be experiencing.

Symptom Management

  • Keep skin dry and clean
  • Use incontinent supplies to maintain comfort
  • Avoid acidic foods or liquids
  • Do not use mouth washes that have alcohol
  • Use soft toothbrushes to clean mouth, gums, and teeth
  • Drink sips of water and try ice chips
  • Keep lips moist with lip balm
  • Eat crackers, dry toast, rice and bland food
  • Avoid fried or spicy foods
  • Eat small amounts of food, but more frequently
  • Use a stool softener as directed
  • Add fruit and high fiber foods
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Increase mobility if able to do so
  • Maintain a calm, quiet environment
  • Prop up head with pillows
  • Circulate room air with the use of a fan
  • Take slow, deep breaths
  • Use oxygen, if possible
  • Soft foods may be easier to swallow than liquids
  • Sit up-right while eating
  • Maintain a safe environment
  • Decrease activity in the home
  • Medicate as directed for symptom management
  • Play soft or calming music
  • Use relaxation techniques
  • Keep room softly lit
  • Drink warm beverages
  • Drink carbonated beverages
  • Take deep breaths
  • Elevate the head of the bed
  • Try hard candy to suck on
  • Use a humidifier
  • Stop stool softeners or laxatives
  • Clean skin carefully after each bowel movement
  • Eat apples, bananas, potatoes, rice or oatmeal
  • Avoid fruit juices and sweetened drinks