Caring for elderly family members, by Mollie

I’m working on a story about how families should plan the end-of-life care of elderly family members and treat it as a sanctity of life issue.

I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts about what this might mean from a Lutheran perspective. What should we keep in mind, vocationally and otherwise, as we work on this?

Of my four grandparents, one died of cancer before my parents married, two died suddenly and one died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For her, my grandmother, we were able to plan for in-home hospice care with a focus on pain management. Pancreatic cancer is a particularly lethal form of the disease and we did not catch it early enough to attempt surgery. So we knew we had a limited frame of time. Still, the process taught me a lot about how important it is to communicate with surviving family members and keep a balance on caring for the dying family member spiritually, physically and otherwise.

Anyway, I’m wondering if any pastors or deaconesses or anyone else has any thoughts about what they wish families in their parish would keep in mind when confronting end-of-life care.

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