Myths around dying at home
Interesting article - perhaps addressing a challenging topic infrequently discussed. Summary from Hospice News Today, 4/13/19.
The myth of ‘no place like home’ when it comes to end of life
April 3, 2019
She died at home, but it wasn’t the romantic scene found in movies, where the family held her hand and she simply closed her eyes. In reality, there was a night when she had diarrhea 12 times. In reality, every time she had to be moved she was in pain. This was how a caregiver described caring for her mother as she died at home to social scientists studying end-of-life decision-making. In a new study, Jacquelyn Benson, assistant professor of human development and family science at the University of Missouri, found that home deaths can be physically and emotionally challenging, especially for caregivers. “The realities of a home death experience present challenges for family members, especially those with limited resources and social support,” Benson said. “It is important that people understand that home death does not automatically equate a good death.” … To study how home deaths might impact caregivers, Benson along with fellow MU researchers Benyamin Schwarz, Ruth Brent Tofle and Debra Parker Oliver, captured stories from caregivers to identify common themes surrounding the experiences of home deaths. Through the in-depth interviews, the researchers uncovered several themes that exposed the challenges that are often not included in conversations about dying at home. In some cases, challenges arose because there was uncertainty for the decision maker, and some caregivers were not prepared for making decisions regarding the end of a loved one’s life. The researchers also found that financial resources and strong relationships can help in differentiating good deaths from bad ones. Researchers found that the “good” death experiences involved high levels of emotional support for the dying individuals and the caregivers, and that the place of death played less of a role.