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What to Say to a Dying Person. These five essential things to say to a dying person are not meant to be in any specific order by priority. Different people will put different value on each one. Some may apply to you, others may not. Please use them where you see fit.
That’s one good way to show that your patient remains in control and that her wishes are respected. To help you provide the best palliative care to your dying patients, here’s a list of the things you should never ever say when communicating with them.
Here, people who address this reality every day — whether they’re psychologists, chaplains or cancer patients — share advice on what helps, and what doesn’t. Don’t say, “It’s going to be OK” It’s an automatic and well-intended response, but don’t try to reassure a friend or loved one that everything will end up just fine.
It’s a privilege and an honor to bear witness at the time of death, but it can cause feelings of inadequacy. You Can’t Fix It. You can’t fix this by changing a dressing, or providing patient education. In fact, you can’t fix this. At all. You cannot take their pain away, no matter what you say or do.
Anticipatory grief is a difficult process experienced by friends and relatives as well as the dying individual. Experts who assist patients in their final days say the best thing to do for someone who has received news of their prognosis is to allow them to guide your conversations and actions.
Communicating with dying patients is difficult and taking care of yourself emotionally should always come first. Honesty. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist is insulting to the patient. Most people who are dying are aware of what is happening. If you don’t acknowledge what you know it may make the person feel like you are infantilizing them.