“The dying lead us back to community, to a growth in compassion and mutual respect.” Gerard Manion OAM, 1998
“Dying is part of living. A precious time of opportunity. A loving time, and a time for deepening relationships, a time for sharing wisdom, for trusting and reconciling, for forgiving.” Gerard Manion OAM, 1998
“The ideal for the dying person is to be with family, with community in the intimacy of home.” Gerard Manion OAM, 1998
“The dying person can thus become a catalyst for a caring and compassionate community.” Gerard Manion OAM, 1998
“In the process of making this a better world in which to die we must surely make it a better world in which to live.” Gerard Manion OAM, 1998
WORLD’S BEST CARING IN YOUR OWN HANDS
A free program providing caregivers and family members resources and support on how to care for a dying person at home.
Meet the Founders
Dr Helen-Anne Manion and her husband Gerard Manion have both been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for their work with people with a life threatening illness and particularly those people dying at home since 1980.
During a four year study and research visit to USA in the mid- ‘seventies, Helen-Anne studied medical oncology, her husband, Gerard, developed a program that addressed the personal aspects of cancer – the patient’s mind, will, spirit, emotions – an intensive program aimed at mobilizing the life forces. Returning to Australia in 1977 they worked together providing their Cancer Care Program. The program was influenced by such pioneers in the mind-body field as Lawrence Le Shan, Herbert Benson, Carl and Stephanie Simonton with whom Gerard trained.
In 1997 Helen-Anne undertook specialist training in Palliative Medicine through the University of Wales, UK. She was made a foundation fellow in the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine, (2000). Helen-Anne’s work with the Dying At Home Program, has received awards including those from the Australian Medical Association (Best Individual Contribution to Health Care in Australia, 2000), NSW Council of the Professions for outstanding professional service, The Rotary International Centennial Community Award and others. Helen-Anne is actively engaged as a consultant in Palliative Care.
Since 1980, Gerard and Helen-Anne have been fully engaged in the work of DYING AT HOME, a community initiative providing the carer of a dying loved one the education together with the coordination of friends and neighbours that will enable that person to remain at home to die there in the loving care of family.
They have spread the program widely in Australia and during two visits in 2004 and 2006, Gerard, Helen-Anne and Kathleen Dansie, spread the model to Limpopo District, South Africa for people dying of HIV/AIDS. In 2013, Helen-Anne, Kathleen and Br. Ray Arthur, taught the Dying At Home program in Chin State, Myanmar. In that same year, Helen-Anne taught in Wuxi China. In 2016 Maria Dias a Timorese national, Helen-Anne, Gerard, Kathleen and David Dansie (IT), and Anthony Mannion (visual media), trained 216 leaders in East Timor from Dili to remote rural villages to spread across many districts in the entire country.
The vision of Helen-Anne and Gerard is that carers worldwide be able to care for their loved at home. Their Dying at Home program has already enabled many to do that caring. The program creates a people focused on the preciousness of life, loving care, compassion and provides for a good death. The nature of compassion is that it flows onward into the wider community.
8 Step Program
DYING AT HOME VS HOSPICE CARE
WHY HOME? For people who are dying and the caregivers who want to support them.
It is well known that most people in Developed Nations, around 80%, want to die in their own home. This has become even more critical in the COVID Pandemic. However, in Developing Nations, this is not a question as most everyone does die at home. In some countries it is considered to be a good death, as opposed to a ‘bad death’ in a hospital.
QUESTIONS – WHERE DO I WANT TO BE WHEN I AM DYING?
Vital questions confront all people in the world, especially now, in the COVID era people are, confronting their mortality. Questions such as “Where do I want to be when I am dying? Who do I want to be with? Where can I have the most comfort, care and companionship? What does this dying time of life mean for me?” The deep questions we contemplate on living, dying and the beyond. These are the questions confronting us today. Now, and I believe there is potential for a growing worldwide awareness of the significance of this time of life.
In many countries, times have changed dramatically since the multigenerational home, our pace of living, busyness, economic drives, and so consuming our way of life. However, for people in those last special and needy weeks of living with a terminal illness, we have made many remarkable observations about being at home through 40 plus years of providing our Dying At Home Program.
CHALLENGES OF DYING AT HOME TODAY
In many countries, times have changed dramatically since the multigenerational home, our pace of living, busyness, economic drives, and so consuming our way of life. In addition, we have a medical system that has devalued the profound benefits of the care that a family and community can give. Together with their friends and neighbours they can provide, once taught, the care people need beyond the hospital. Forgotten is the trust of community capacity. The dying time of life is not a medical illness; it is a social event. Therefore, trusting community enables that dying person to reach peace, supported in that social context.
For people in those last special and needy weeks of living with a terminal illness, we have made many remarkable observations about being at home through 40 plus years of providing our Dying At Home Program.
THE DYING AT HOME PROGRAM
Through our 40 plus years of providing our Dying At Home Program, we have made many remarkable observations about people being home during the last special and needy weeks of living with a terminal illness. Our program builds loving care, growth in compassion, and the special significance of a gathering together of family, friends, and neighbours. Through our program people gain the confidence that comes with knowing what to do and how to do it. It ultimately becomes an inspiring and nurturing experience for all. The program starts with a dying person wanting to stay at home and a caregiver who wants to do the caring. Our program supports the caregiver, enabling them to better care for a dying person in the last moments of their life.
PALLIATIVE CARE SUPPORT….OR NOT
Suppose there is palliative care support for the patient available in your area. Wonderful! In this case, our program will complement outside support and resources, working well alongside the Dying At Home Program. However, if there is no medical backup, as in so many countries, our Dying At Home program stands alone. Our program has been taught in different cultural and economic settings, standing alone to guide, teach and support the caregivers loving care and the dying person.
WHY DYING AT HOME IS SO BENEFICIAL COMPARED TO HOSPICE CARE IN A HOSPITAL
Here are some of the reasons from our experience to answer the question, Why Home?
- Home is the place where we live; we belong, where we feel the most comfortable.
- The dying person need never be lonely; there is always company available to those we are closest to those who know us.
- Anxiety is relieved. It’s far easier to be at peace and share, at more profound levels of person, spirit etc., in our home.
- Caregivers, once enabled and knowledgeable, can give their best care and are more familiar and comforting to the dying person.
- It is well-known that symptoms like pain etc., are much less severe, requiring less medication at home with our program.
- Family, friends, and neighbours learn to do the caring in the best way by allowing love to dominate and drive care.
- Friends and neighbours (co-ordinated through the program’s 8 Steps and booklets) are enriched with a new appreciation of each other and the gift they give to the dying person by being part of the end of life care.
- Eliminates exhaustion caused from travelling back and forth to an institution.
- In the home setting, dying becomes an extraordinary time with secrets shared, beautiful things said, lessons learnt, love and forgiveness, and friendships strengthened.
- Provides the best place for healing of the whole person.
- Grief is supported when friends, neighbours, and family have done the caring and experienced their loved one’s death. Grief is balanced by the joy of having given and received. And those who cared do stay connected.
- Children learn about the dying time of life by being involved in the care. We hear repeatedly, in their own words, that they no longer fear death. It’s a natural experience for them to carry onwards into their whole lives.
With the support we offer caregivers and the dying person, home is the place to be. In our many years of experience, almost everyone who has become involved in the program achieved their goal.
Why Dying At Home vs Hospice in an institution?
Because this experience is an extraordinary and unique opportunity for everyone involved – caregiver, friends, family and the dying person, take it up!
The Stories of Dying At Home
We are indebted to hundreds of people in various parts of the world who have taught and inspired us since 1980. Here are some special stories of dying at home. Thanks to these resources, their caregivers, family and friends were able to support them in their wish. We share with you the stories of people who spent their final days at home and the caregivers who supported them in their wish.
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Dying At Home Blog
The Dying At Home blog is a place for us to share thoughts, stories and reflections as well as information and resources to support your journey through the end of life either as a caregiver or a dying person.
Dying At Home was created by Gerard and Helen-Anne Manion to support people caring for those approaching the end of life. Our free, highly recognized training and resource program is available internationally. The Dying At Home Program allows family and friends to experience the richness and significance of caring for precious remaining life at home while actively engaging the dying person.
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