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!