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Unread 04-21-2017, 12:38 AM   #1
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Trig How to cope with death

I am a brand new caregiver for the elderly. I am extremely compassionate, caring, kind, and I love my job. It's easy for me to be a companion for the elderly, and I am someone who can easily give my heart to those in need. Because these elderly clients need caregivers, they are in a stage of life where they are not capable of being on their own and it's normal for a client to have their health be deteriorating. In my field as a caregiver, it will be inevitable to experience the death of a client and I am fully aware that the client may die and I am aware of the steps and the motions I must go through professionally, but I am not sure how to handle this internally. I've never experienced the loss of a loved one nor witnessed a death or deceased person and I know it will be upsetting, and I am not sure how to handle this emotionally. Any advice is welcome.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 01:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to cope with death

I think everyone handles death differently (at least outwardly). Sometimes people act in surprising ways. I do have experience with it. Besides my mother's death, a person in my family (I am purposely being vague) lost a child during a precious age (still being vague, I am not speaking of a miscarriage; it was much more tragic than that). Plus all my grandparents are gone and I loved one intensely as well.

Having said these things, don't make any assumptions about how well you will handle it. And your feelings might vary each time you lose someone. Just try to except your reactions and feelings with no judgement. Being a companion to the elderly is a worthwhile, important job. They will love your upbeat and passionate personality. We don't talk about death much in our culture but it will happen to us all. Perhaps you will learn how you want to approach yours someday through this experience.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 05:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to cope with death

In the field you describe no doubt you would be exposed, much more than average. We often like to put it out of our mind, but it is the last stage of 'life', no getting around it.

I understand how you would become connected, but to a lesser degree that if it was a close family member. You could talk to others in your field about how they handle it, they may offer some type of training on the matter.

Let's look at funerals, most of us don't care for them. I offer up one can take a lighter approach by hanging back a bit, from close up casket viewing.

If one reaches the end of a full life, it's nice to have that end as comfortable as possible. One really can't ask for any more. Yes, sad still no doubt about it.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 11:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to cope with death

ive had more than my share of death in my life. it scares the heck out of me. every open casket i see for some reason brings me peace as it looks like sleeping. it is so peaceful to know they are not sufferring anymore. good luck
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Unread 04-21-2017, 12:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to cope with death

Hi LiteraryLark

I'd say that it can be real hard to fully prepare for something like that, because we may think that we are going to handle things a certain way but when something happens.............
But I would say that you already have some incredible assets in your nature to help you along the way if...........
You are facing that it could happen and accepting that it can be inevitable...........for some people in your line of work they may just hope they don't have to experience it, work in denial of it, or try to keep it well out of their minds.........meaning if it happens it can be a lot harder..........so really good on you that you're facing it, thinking about it and reaching out for ways to handle it!!!
And............you are caring, you are passionate about your job, you do want to do what you can for your clients..........so if..........well remember you are going to have the fall back of knowing that you showed/gave them genuine caring in their last days, you made sure you treated them with the dignity and respect they deserved, you showed them in the way you treated them that their lives and they mattered in their last days............and you've got to realise how very, very important that can be, how meaningful that can be, right?!!
And yes, I'm sure it will be upsetting, as you do care, but you are going to have the satisfaction of/comfort in that knowledge in that you made those last days seriously count for them, when it mattered almost the most........at the end of life
And if the time comes............I'd say, if you need to, just reach out for support, exactly as you are now
That can be to managers, colleagues, friends, us on here.........whoever you feel you can reach out to..........even talk to some of your colleagues now to see what has helped them along the way too...........
But...........ultimately..........I'd say again..........you already have some incredible assets in your nature to help you along the way if...........so massive kudos to you (!!!)..........and just reach out for support if/when you need it

Alison
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Unread 04-21-2017, 05:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to cope with death

Are you expected to do end of life care? That is a very special job and I would hope you would be given support to carry out this specialised care task, how well you do it will impact on the person and their family for the rest of their lives. I still remember the care worker who cared for and then laid out my grandma - she treated her with dignity and care, you can't go wrong if you do that.

In terms of your own well-being I can only agree that the best thing is to seek support from coworkers. It's hard no two ways about it. I have volunteered with the elderly for years and been to many funerals, it doesn't get any easier, but I'm glad those people were in my life.
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