Some of the most difficult and awkward moments we experience surrounding the care of a loved one are knowing what to talk about or what to do when we are in the room with the person who is moving toward the end of life. It’s a difficult place to be; wanting to love them in the best possible way but not knowing how to do it. This interview features Stacey Canfield. Stacey has learned through her own caregiving experiences with family members that the average person needs help to know how to best care for the soul of their loved ones who are suffering or dying. In this conversation, we talk at length about a variety of tools Stacey provides to make the experience more positive for everyone.
Practical things to do for your loved one approaching the end of life.
Of the many tools Stacey Canfield has created, one of the most helpful is what she refers to as the Soul Sitter S.T.E.P.S. Each of the letters stands for one of the practical things a caregiver can do for the person who is suffering or dying. They stand for Smile: Being intentional with facial expressions that give comfort and communicate love – Touch: Making physical contact with the dying person helps them not feel so alone – Eye-Contact: Engaging with the dying loved one intentionally through eye to eye connection – Patience: Calmly and lovingly caring for the person in spite of delays or unintentional responses caused by the loved one’s condition – Service: Asking how you can truly serve them best during their time of need. Be sure you listen to Stacey’s tips to get help for your situation.
As a caregiver make sure you care for yourself, too.
Every caregiver feels the need to be there for their dying loved one at all times. It’s one of the ways they express their love and concern for the person. But nobody will be well served if the caregiver is too exhausted to benefit their loved one. That’s why it’s important for caregivers to take care of themselves, allowing for time away from their loved one, enabling themselves to be rejuvenated and rested so that the care they are able to give is the very best it can be. In this conversation you’ll hear some of the ways Stacey Canfield recommends caregivers do that.
The “Positive Grief” approach turns sadness into encouraging memories.
Grief is an emotion most of us want to avoid but it is a very natural and needed part of life transitions. Everyone left behind when a loved one passes has to grieve in their own way and must be allowed to do so. Stacey Canfield has learned that one of the ways she’s been able to move forward after the loss of her loved ones is to intentionally label certain items specific to her lost loved ones with positive memories. She calls the practice “Positive Grief” and you’ll be encouraged by how effective it is as you listen to Stacey’s stories of how the idea has been used.
As your loved one nears the end of life you can help them develop a passage plan.
Every caregiver wants to do the very best for the loved one they are caring for. One of the best ways to do that is to know exactly what the loved one wants in terms of care. Stacey Canfield has developed what she calls a “passage plan” to help family members and those with terminal illnesses or chronic conditions prepare for the time when they may need to be dependent on someone else’s care on a long-term basis. A passage plan enables the person to clearly express their preferences in terms of environment, loved ones they want to have nearby, legacy issues, beliefs, and much more. Listen to this conversation to hear how Stacey recommends using a passage plan to provide better care to your loved ones as they near the end of life.
What You’ll Discover in this Interview:
- Introduction to Stacey Canfield and her work.
- The Soul Sitter S.T.E.P.S.
- The hardest parts of being an ongoing caregiver: getting rest for themselves.
- What is Stacey’s “Positive Grief” method?
- The 5 core pillars of a “Passage Plan” to help caregivers.
- What topics should family members talk about with dying family members?
- What can long-distance family members do to care for dying family members?
- How to exhibit soul care when a loved one is in a comatose state.
- Be aware of the topics that may be “hot buttons” for a dying loved one.
- The role foods and fragrances can play in soul sitting.
- The best next step listeners can take.