A Positive Dying Experience

March 23, 2005 at 10:36 am  •  Posted in Death And Dying by  •  0 Comments

What Makes a Positive Dying Experience?

From a consumer and family member point of view, research indicates that having a high-quality, end of life experience can occur if care:

  1. Ensures desired levels of physical and emotional support
  2. Promotes shared decision-making
  3. Treats the dying person with respect
  4. Provides information and emotional support to family members
  5. Is coordinated across care settings
  6. Manages symptoms and side effects, especially pain

A dying person will likely have a more positive end of life experience if they are able to achieve several of the following:

  • Face fears about dying
  • Have choices about dying
  • Make amends
  • Control pain and symptoms
  • Have wishes respected
  • Honor spiritual and non-spiritual preferences
  • Preserve autonomy and control
  • Minimize stress for loved ones
  • Preserve dignity
  • Maintain hope
  • Accept help
  • Ensure family support
  • Remain in the moment
  • Obtain closure
  • Create positive days
  • Tell their life story
  • Put legal affairs in order
  • Resolve differences with family and friends
  • Avoid prolonged suffering
  • Use remaining time wisely
  • Communicate openly
  • Live fully until death
  • Die with tranquility
  • Have continuing support of health care team
  • Reconcile religious/spiritual issues


Source: “Understanding End of LifeCourse”, National Association of Social Workers © 2004

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