Sunday, January 15, 2006

death, location of

Many terminally ill individuals or their families may have a choice of where the person will die. When medical intervention is not necessary, the dying person may prefer to be at home. Frequently, a family member can be taught to give pain medications or a home nurse may be employed.
It is a misconception in our society that death is a horrible event. In many situations it is quiet and peaceful. Dying at home may eliminate the fear of indignity and depersonalization that may occur in institutions. Many families find that sharing the last days of life with a loved one is a positive, rewarding experience.
Some families find it impossible to provide the necessary nursing care in the face of heavy feelings of responsibility and fears of the dying process. Hospice programs can provide for care both in institutions and at home. A hospice can provide help by teaching the family members or the person to give pain medications. They can also help the individual or their families to deal with their feelings about the dying process. Most larger cities have an established hospice program. If not, the attending doctor may be willing to help with arrangements so that dying can take place at home.
Gillies, J. A Guide to Caring for Coping with Aging Parents. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1981.
Lester, A. D. and Lester, J. L. Understanding Aging Parents. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1980.

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