Recognising Dying 29.09.16


The dying phase lasts typically between 1-3 months, speeding up in the final 2 weeks, however this can vary in some circumstances. Although many of the symptoms can seem quite severe and seem as if the dying patient is in pain, this is not always the case. As many of the symptoms in the dying phase are very natural and can be easily identified. It is important for health care professionals and those who are caring for dying patients to recognize these and to seek the appropriate training if they are uncertain. As part of Hospice in the Weald we strive to ensure that those who are at the end of life stages can die where they choose as this both fulfills their wishes and dignity.

What is a ‘Good Death’?

  • Being treated as an individual with dignity & respect
  • Being without pain & other symptoms
  • In familiar surrounding with close family/friends

In some cases patients’ symptoms can be misinterpreted and then rushed to hospital where the could potentially die whilst travelling, on the way to a ward or in hospital which may not be the desired place of death. This all can cause unnecessary stress for the patients, family/friends and carers in this already difficult time.

If you or your staff are interested in developing skills around End of Life Care then please take a look at our engaging courses, and book online! In particular Managing Common Symptoms, Dignity @ End of Life & Care in the Last Few Days. Many of our courses cover the End of life aspects of care as we are palliative care experts as part of Hospice in the Weald.

If you want to read more about The Dying Phase then please follow the link to the paper written by Marguerite Kenward, Matron at Hospice in the Weald and Facilitator for we:train.

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