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How do help a dying womans husband?

I work in a Nursing facility and I am heart broken by the gentleman that is so patiently waiting for his wife to pass. He just seems so lost and sad. I want to give him hope I just don't know what to do.

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Asked by Nannykaffy at 4:04 PM on Jun. 21, 2008 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 3 (16 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Wow...I would suggest getting a book for him to fill out for his wife if she can speak or for himself. For example, there is a Thomas Kincade book I bought my dad which asks him questions about his childhood, beliefs, and it is titled something like "A Grandfather's Journal for his grandkids"

    Answer by TXdanielly at 4:09 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Quiet presence is best. Words won't help. Just be there. A hug (if he is comfortable with that) may be something he hasn't had much and may need. DOn't try to say the right thing--there is no right thing right now.

    Answer by suzannekk at 4:37 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Do the absolute BEST you can do to show his wife extra love.

    Answer by TwinmomPlus at 5:33 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Many older men left the housework and cooking to their wives . . maybe you could make some casseroles in disposable dishes for him to take home and warm up to eat? or some home made cookies, not many since older folks aren't much on sweets usually, and like others said, take extra care with his wife and a pat on his shoulder or quiet presence . . . give him some time, even if it's your own personal time, to talk to you about her . . . I've lost both my parents and my husband, so I know that a friend is the one thing most needed and most usually not given in times of loss.

    Answer by thegoddessofwit at 5:53 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • You must not be in your job for long, or you didnt pay attention in class when they addressed how to deal with the dying person's family. Or your just a janitor or some menial job, not a nurse or skilled job in the nursing facility. If your new to this profession and it's bothering you this much maybe your not cut out to do this...

    Answer by vbruno at 7:02 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • If you really want to do something be extra attentive to his loved one. You'll be making a memory of a lifetime for him. When he looks back on her dying days he'll remember the nurse that was so kind.

    Answer by tellis at 7:22 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • I agree with Suzannekk. Good Luck...

    Answer by AuntieVetta at 9:51 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Take a moment to say, "I want you to know that I am here if you need something (talk, cry, if you need a cup of water or a snack, if you are feeling you need a blanket or your want me to call someone) I am here for you." Of course, since you are working, you have to modify that to fit your situation. Give some examples of "anything". Listen and reflect on what he says. "She seems at peace"..."yes, she does"; "I wish I had done more for her"..."what do you wish you had done?"..."cut the grass every tuesday"..."did you love her?"..."yes"..."love is important". Avoid trying to "fix it" or make him feel better. Mention something you liked about her. When she dies, respond with sympathy, a hug, a card, help clearing out the room and calling family etc. Just like you would do for a friend. Loving people in that environment is totally professional as long as we are not neglecting our work. My best to you and this gentleman. Your kindness to him will not be forgotten.

    Answer by manna1qd at 6:46 AM on Jun. 22, 2008

  • theres not that much you could do for him except show him that you love him and your there for him if he needs a shoulder to cry on. we just lost our mother 9 months ago and my dad is the saddest man you have ever seen. no matter what my sisters and i try it seems like nothing works. she was the most special mom anyone could ever want and the loss is almost unbearable for all of us.just comfort him as much as you could. he will always remember you

    Answer by cusina48 at 1:24 PM on Jun. 22, 2008

  • Just be there. That really is all that you can do! Hold his hand and tell him that you care. Ask him if there is anything that you can do to help. Sometimes people don't know how to ask for help in what they need. Tell him that you really feel bad for him and would love to help out in some way. He may feel relieved that someone cares enough to ask. Just knowing that people care is such a comfort.

    Answer by MommasCooCoo at 7:21 PM on Jun. 22, 2008

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