End-of-life educator Barbara Karnes is back to talk about death in the home, what it looks like, and how caregivers can manage a dying loved one at home. The reality of a death at home is that it's a challenge for caregivers, and can put a heavy burden on the caregiver. Before death became a medical event, it was a psychosocial event that was managed at home, and caregivers were supported by the community. These days people frequently die in the hospital or in a nursing facility. Family often is not present when a death happens. A good death can happen at home; however, with family present. Hospice support can be an important part of that care. End-of-life workers can provide education, support, and encouragement that help caregivers manage the death experience. Barbara describes the dying process as labor, very similar to labor for the birth of a baby. Advance care planning (ACP) can help define how a person wants to die at home, identifying a medical decision-maker (MPOA or healthcare proxy). Seriously ill adults who are living alone need a caregiving system. Hospice social workers and chaplains can help solo agers identify an MPOA and build a support system for their caregiving.
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By Your Side, A Guide for Caring for the Dying at Home by Barbara Karnes here.