Caring for a loved one with dementia or a family member who has a diagnosis of a terminal illness is emotionally tough. Sometimes, it can feel like you’ve started grieving even before the person you’re caring for has died. This is called ‘anticipatory grief’ and it’s just like the experience of grief that people get after a loved one dies. Some days might feel very hard, and other days might feel almost ‘normal’. You might feel you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions.
The charity, Cruse, says that some of the things you may be feeling could include:
Some people may also experience physical problems just before someone close to them dies after a long period of illness. You might suffer from insomnia or tummy upsets.
It can also be very difficult if you have to prepare a child or young person for the news that someone they’re close to (a parent or grandparent) is very sick and is not going to get better.
If there are children or young people in your household, you may be interested in reading advice about how to prepare them for the death of a parent, sibling, grandparent or other loved one. These two websites may help:
Cruse has a free phoneline for people who are grieving or experiencing anticipatory grief.
The Cruse Helpline: 0808 808 1677, opening hours: