VSED Comfort Measures


List of Comfort Measures & Pleasures while Preparing for VSED

Choosing to stop eating and drinking deprives a person of a major source of nutrition, energy, comfort, stimulation, and pleasure. Focusing on heightening the awareness of other senses can help reduce the loss of that fifth sense, and can help distract the person from the discomfort of dry mouth and throat while still providing comfort and pleasure.

Things to hear

  • Conversation – about anything, familiar voices
  • Hearing and retelling family stories
  • Being read to: favorite books, letters, cards, and newspaper
  • Remembering events from childhood, parenting, jobs, holidays, romance, challenges, celebrations
  • Favorite radio program
  • Podcasts, Pandora
  • Listen to music: radio, CDs, singing
  • Make music–sing, keyboard, instrument, rhythm games
  • Favorite types of music

Things to look at or watch

  • View from window
  • Pictures of cherished people
  • Little basket of natural things: feathers, stones, shells, seeds
  • Favorite pictures – of celebrations, milestones
  • Looking at nature pictures together
  • Comics
  • Cards and/or letters
  • TV or other electronica
  • Favorite movies
  • Projected light images

Things to do together

  • Sit quietly and be present
  • Cuddle in bed
  • Hold hands
  • Hug
  • Body massage, foot massage,
  • Manicure
  • Put together puzzles
  • Play card games, board games
  • Write a legacy letter to grandchildren, best friends
  • Draw
  • Color in adult coloring books
  • Make jewelry and other crafts

Things to wear

  • Favorite slippers
  • Fuzzy Socks
  • PJs
  • Nightshirt or nightgown
  • Shawl
  • Favorite hat
  • Gloves with or without fingers
  • Scarf
  • Bed jacket, robe

Around the room

  • Room with a view
  • Windows that can open for fresh air or sound of rain
  • Drapes that can be opened or closed
  • Overhead light
  • Small lamps with soft light
  • Candles
  • Nightlight

Scents to smell

  • Essential oils in a diffuser
  • Aftershave cologne
  • Loved one’s perfume
  • Burning candles
  • Favorite soap
  • Favorite body lotion
  • Wood in a fireplace
  • Fresh air
  • Rain

Things to touch

  • Hands, faces, bodies of loved ones
  • Basket of feathers, stones, shells
  • Pets
  • Stuffy/doll
  • Blanket or shawl
  • Cards and/or letters

Places to sit

  • Rocking chair
  • Recliner
  • Family chair
  • Soft spaces

Bed dressings

  • Clean sheets – sun dried, fresh
  • Big down coverlet
  • Favorite quilt or blanket
  • Lots of comfy pillows
  • Sheepskin
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