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When the family is dealing with a terminal patient, they experiece a catch-22. They appreciate the love and support via phone calls from family and friends, yet they resent the fact that the phone never stops ringing.
Create a newsletter and send all the information updates to the concerned family and friends. Request they stop calling the house and rely on their newsletters. If they don't have email, create a webpage (www.suite101.com will host a webpage for free) that lists the updates. They can then visit their library or Internet cafe to receive updates.
Once the patient passes, then make the phone calls to everyone.