Peaceful Rest at the Last

I imagine – and statistics bear this out – that most people would prefer to die in their own home or the home of a close friend or relative.  They would prefer their final moments to be in familiarity and comfort rather than the stark, antiseptic environment of a hospital.  I know that’s how I would prefer things to go, if I have that option.

There are those who fear that dying at home instead of a hospital would mean more pain and suffering, away from the immediacy of medicines and pain-killers that hospitals have stockpiled, ready on short notice.  It is interesting that recent surveys indicate that this fear might be misfounded, and that dying at home does not involve more pain and suffering than dying in a hospital, and may involve less.

Which makes it all the more unfortunate that few people actually do die at home.

I see this often.  Someone is caught up in an unfortunate accident that leads to prolonged time in a hospital, which might result in complications or infections and the person never returns home again.  Very few of us are blessed (or cursed) to know what is going to lead to our death and when.  So it becomes very important to talk about these things with family and friends beforehand.  It sounds morbid, but it’s crucial.  Those who will be responsible for overseeing your final months or days need to know what your preferences are.  And we all need to be better informed about what our options are in terms of dictating these things to hospitals, which seem to more and more direct what happens (or won’t happen) to their clients.

Talk about this stuff.  Write it out.  Make it well known to everyone who might be a part of your final days.  It reduces stress and strain on your friends and family, and gives you peace of mind as well.


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