By Donalyn Gross, Ph.D., LCSW, CMP
Imagine yourself in a nursing faculty with no family, and
those few friends you have are old, perhaps sick, perhaps unable to drive to
visit you. Imagine lying in bed, being tended by health aides, nursing
assistants, and various other staff/Can they be your family now? They will
become the providers of your total care. You could be there and you could die
there. Now, how do you feel?
The percentage of the people that die in nursing homes is ever increasing. This
is a huge responsibility for all staff members. Their goal must be to provide
the best care to those in the last stages of life.
Death is the ultimate end to every living thing. But we are unsure about many
aspects of death. We understand medical death. We are born, we live and die; a
cyclical process. Breathing stops due to terminal illness, accidents, and or
age. If one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, or is brain damaged, this is
understood as psychological death accompanied by a diminished or lack of
awareness of self, people and or environment. Religion offers us theological
death, explaining death as the moment when the soul leaves the body.
We live in a death denying society. Death has been in the closet for years, a
forbidden topic. When it is necessary to talk about it at all, we disguise the
recognition and fears with euphemisms such as “passed on”, “expired”, or
“left this world”.
In our culture, people are particularly reluctant to talk about dying,
especially if it involves someone close. In addition, we have problems talking
to someone who has a serious or terminal illness.
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About the Author:
PhD., LCSW, CMP, Thanatologist, has worked with the terminally ill and their
loved ones for over twenty five years. She has worked in hospitals, the
correctional system, been a hospice volunteer director, has taught college
courses in death and dying, and gives workshops on death and dying issues.
For More Information on
This subject as well as Seminars, Books, Training Programs and More, Visit
Dr. Donalyn Gross' website GoodEndings.Net.
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Light of Understanding
in A Forest of Fear About Death, Dying and Debt.
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