The end of life is a scary thought for many of us, but it is normal. Death is not a topic that makes us feel comfortable talking about; however, information is a reliable way to feel more prepared for what will happen when a loved one reaches the end of life.

These are some symptoms that a dying person might experience; nonetheless, many factors influence each experience, such as the type of illness, medications, and general patient status, but some physical changes are common in the final stage of life.

  • Lower appetite and thirst

  • Body temperature changes

  • Sleeping more frequently

  • Shortness of breath

  • Pain

  • Confusion or disorientation

  • Fatigue

Near the end of life, most vital signs might become irregular, such as blood pressure or heart rate, and these fluctuations can be more pronounced in the final hours or days. Other changes that might happen are bladder and bowel conditions. For example, within the last moments, the patient may feel constipated, or the opposite, meaning they may experience loss of bladder control.

Some of the patients could still be able to tell if they experience an increasing pain progression verbally, but there could be some others who require continuous checking. Hospice care providers are fully qualified to verify signs of distress in non-verbal patients, such as stiffening body, moaning, agitation, clenching of teeth, and restlessness, among other indications.

Saying goodbye

Feeling anxiety becomes perfectly normal at the end of life; some panic attack symptoms might be confused with a heart attack.

However, hospice care providers should be able to identify if pain and shortness of breath are the results of the patient’s condition or just a symptom-related issue.

A loved one dying from a terminal illness could be a frightening experience for everyone.

At Ascend Hospice Care, we have the knowledge to help the patients and their families to understand what to expect through this stressful process. Accurate information can make everyone involved feel as comfortable as possible during the final stages of life.

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We understand that the decision to transition towards end-of-life therapy needs to be taken with utmost care, that’s why we created this helpful blog.