How to Help Your Loved Ones Make End of Life Decisions

When you have a family member suffering from cancer or some other life-threatening illness, it puts you in a difficult position. On the one hand, they need you to be their strength and encourage them through this difficult life phase. On the other hand, you’re in great need of some compassion yourself as you prepare yourself for the coming loss.

Nothing can make losing a loved one any easier—it’s an inevitable part of life, and the only silver lining is that they won’t suffer anymore once they pass away. In the meantime, it’s up to you to be their rock, and these steps should help you to accomplish that.

It may be a good idea for you and your loved one to go to therapy.


It’s understandable to feel depressed about end-of-life transitions. It’s almost impossible to helplessly watch someone close to you suffer and not have it affect your mental health. Grieving the loss or imminent loss of a loved one is enough to cause depression in almost anyone.

If you feel like your mental health is in peril due to your loved one being terminally ill, then you should consider getting psychotherapy. Depression can lead to thoughts of self-harm and suicide, and there are too many people counting on you now for you to self destruct.

Talking to the right therapist can help you cope with life transitions like divorce or losing a family member. Even if your sick loved one is relying on you to be their strength right now, you don’t have to carry the burden alone.


Even in bustling New York City, it’s possible to feel alone when you’re suffering from mental health problems and grieving a family member. However, there are plenty of NYC therapists with experience helping patients to cope with their mental health issues and the stresses of big city life. Whether you’re dealing with difficult life transitions, substance abuse, or a behavioral issue, seeing a clinical psychologist or another mental health professional could save your life and sanity.

You have to worry about your loved one’s finances as much as their healthcare.

The hardest part about terminal illness, aside from the illness itself, is the financial strain it puts on families. When your spouse gets a cancer diagnosis, you know there’s a difficult time ahead, and finances are one of the greatest obstacles you’re going to have to deal with.

As morbid as this may seem, if your spouse has been given 24 months or less to live, then selling your spouse’s life insurance policy may be the best financial option. A viatical settlement is a type of financial assistance specifically for people who have a short life expectancy. Financial institutions will give you a cash settlement for your life insurance and collect the death benefit when the policyholder passes.


A viatical settlement can be used to pay for anything from their medical care to bills and other living expenses. You can even use it to take a relaxing vacation and get away from it all for a moment. The cash value of your viatical settlement will depend on the value of your spouse’s life insurance policy. If you’re considering a viatical settlement, learn more about the process by visiting

Is it better for your loved one to go to a hospice or stay home?

One of the hardest choices to make about end of life care is whether to let your loved one stay home or go into professional care such as hospice or a nursing home. One thing you should consider before making a decision is whether you can be there to provide your sick loved one with the around-the-clock care they need.

More than likely, your family needs you to work so you can stay afloat financially and continue to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. If so, then you should look for healthcare professionals who provide in-home care or consider putting them in hospice care if in-home care isn’t affordable for you.

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