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Family Reports

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The process of comfort care with regard to symptoms of coolness, sleeping, disorientation, incontinence, congestion, etc. 

Comfort care is the process where a person was taken off a breathing tube or other life-saving measure due to the person having been determined by two or more doctors that the patient will not live or the medications are not providing enough help to bring the person back to health.  They are moved to the 5th floor of the hospital. A food tray is offered to each of the family members at lunch and dinner for the surviving siblings, children and grandchildren.  Below explains the process the patient will experience during the death process.

The person's hands and arms, feet and then legs may be increasingly cool to the touch and at the same time the color of the skin may change. This is a normal indication that the circulation of blood is decreasing to the body's extremities and being received for the most vital organs. Keep the person warm with a blanket, but do not use one that is electric. 

The person may spend an increasing amount of time sleeping, and appear to be uncommunicative or unresponsive and at times be difficult to arouse.  This normal change is due in part to changes in the metabolism of the body. Sit with your loved one, hold his or her hand, but do not shake it or speak loudly. Speak softly and naturally. Plan to spend time with your loved one during those times when he or she seems most alert or awake. Do not talk about the person in the person's presence. Speak to him or her directly as you normally would, even though there may be no response. Never assume the person cannot hear; hearing is the last of the senses to be lost.

The person may seem to be confused about the time, place, and identity of people surrounding them including close and familiar people. This is also due in part to metabolism changes.  Identify yourself by name before your speak rather than ask the person to guess who you are. Speak softly, clearly, and truthfully when you need to communicate something important to the patient's comfort, such as, letting him or her know it is time to take medication, and explain the reason for the communication, such as, informing the person the medication will keep him or her from beginning to hurt.  

The person may lose control of urine and/or bowel matter as the muscles in that area begin to relax. 

The person may have gurgling sounds coming from his or her chest as though marbles were rolling around inside. These sounds may become very loud. This normal change is due to the decrease of fluid intake.