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Issues You Will Face

We live in an age in which dying, and knowledge about dying, have moved from the realm of cultural inheritance to that of institutional management. The decision to die at home, or to take on the responsibility of caring for a dying person, is thus a courageous act of human reclamation. But because the dying in our culture have been largely sequestered into hospitals and nursing homes, it is necessary that terminally ill individuals who would do otherwise, and those who care for them, contemplate and engage with the process of dying as a learning experience. Of course the re-personalization of dying means that the experience, for each person, is itself the primary teacher. That said, we can glean helpful lessons from the experiences of others.

The following websites address topics that may be of interest to people with terminal illness.

Terminal illness: Supporting a terminally ill loved one

Written by Mayo Clinic staff, this article provides guidance for how to comfort and support a loved one who has a terminal illness while dealing with your own grief.

When You are Overwhelmed: Support for family caregivers

The Family Caregiver Alliance provides support, information, and resources for family caregivers. The new FCA CareJourney online portal provides information, support and resources for family caregivers of adults with chronic physical or cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses.

Eldercare services

The Aging Parents and Eldercare website provides information and support groups for those caring for aging parents.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging provides an Eldercare Locator site that helps locate services and resources for older adults, their families, and their caregivers.

Caregiver Issues

The Caregiver Stress and Burnout: Tips for Regaining Your Energy, Optimism, and Hope article provides insights into the signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout, along with resources and tips for restorative approaches to caregiving.

The U.S. Office on Women’s Health (an agency of the U.S. Department of Human Health Services) provides a Caregiver Stress Fact Sheet that covers commonly asked questions about caregiving and special stressors for women.