The end of life is not a phase of life any individual wishes to think about, but care during this time is critical. Loved ones approaching the end of their life require physical comfort, mental and emotional comfort, and often spiritual guidance as well. Those with access to primary care can receive guidance through this challenging time and are able to better fulfill the dying person’s wishes and needs.

Questions to ask your primary care doctor:

  • Since there is no cure, what will happen next?
  • Why are you suggesting this test or treatment?
  • Will the treatment bring physical comfort?
  • Will the treatment speed up or slow down the dying process?
  • What can we expect to happen in the coming days or weeks?

Questions to ask the caregiver:

  • How are you doing? Do you need someone to talk with?
  • Would you like to go out for an hour or two? I could stay here while you are away.
  • Who has offered to help you? Do you want me to work with them to coordinate our efforts?
  • Can I help, maybe … walk the dog, answer the phone, go to the drug store or the grocery store, or watch the children (for example)…for you?

These questions can serve as guiding steps when preparing someone for the end of life. Read more about how you can work with your primary care provider to help ease the pain and offer comfort to help a dying person rest peacefully.

Patient Resources:

End of Life Care: Providing Comfort (English) (Spanish)

End of Life Care: Advance Directives (English) (Spanish)

– See more at: Health is Primary