Angeling a Terminal Patient...
It is a rare privilege to Angel someone who is dying… you have the opportunity to add cheer and friendship to their last days on earth.
* The most important factor when Angeling a terminal patient is CONSISTENCY! People with terminal illnesses are often abandoned by friends and family, leaving them lonely and depressed. Your continuing presence in the patient’s life is more important than what you send, etc...
* Angels should never broach the subject of a patients stage four prognosis. This is best left to the patients family, friends and clergy. Our "job" is strictly to send cheer and encouragement through the mail.
* You will be better equipped to help your patient if you take it upon yourself to learn about his/her illness. Consult medical reference books at your local library. Request information from educational associations, such as the National Cancer Institute. Research online through a search engine.
* What do you say? Tell your patient how much he/she means to you. Reminisce about fun times/good vacations/memorable moments you’ve had in your life. Share the small events of your day. Avoid sending a generic greeting card unless you’ve personalized it with a heartfelt message, and NEVER send get-well-soon cards.
* What should you NOT say? "I understand how you feel." " It is God's will." "Its for the best." " Don't talk like that (about death or about dying)." " Be strong." " You can't die."
* As an occasional alternative to a card or note, consider sending video or audio taped “notes” to your patient.
* Help them celebrate holidays (and life) by sending decorations for their hospital room or home, or by sending flowers or a plant.
* Send gift certificates for video rentals, bookstores, or a restaurant in their town who delivers.
* Be creative. Send taped music, a poster for the wall, cookies for your patient to share with family and friends.
* What's in the news? Magazines, photos, newspapers, and current event reports keep patients from feeling the world is passing them by.
* Supply a journal for your patient to keep.
* Send a blanket, quilt, toy or stuffed animal to have at beside
* Do not forget your patients family/caregivers. Every now and then include a card or gift for them, as well.
* For helpful tips and ideas from other Angels regarding how to Angel and end stage or hospice patient, click here...