Dealing With Death in the Nursing Home
Dealing with death in the nursing home article with information, help and advice for loved ones and nursing home staff.
Dealing with Death In The Nursing Home
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.
Links to More Information on this Subject
About the Author:
Dr. Donalyn Gross, PhD., LCSW, CMP, Thanatologist
D. Gross, 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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