User login

Sign in with Facebook
Sign in using Facebook

How to recognise the end stages of life

Knowing what to expect at the end stage life can help family prepare.

Whilst there are common physical signs that may indicate end stages of life, it is often hard to predict.


In this article:


 

What happens at end stage of life?

Older people often die from complications of a number of medical conditions which combined shut down the bodies important systems.

People in the end stages of life become very weak and sleep long periods. They will not be hungry or thirsty and may have difficulty swallowing. Some people become anxious or confused wanting the comfort of just a few close relatives.

Gradually a person may slip into a coma and be unable to communicate. Holding someone's hand and just being there is often enough.

If you have never experienced death you may be afraid of what will happen. Knowing the signs of impending death can sometimes help you prepare for changes to a loved one's condition as death approaches.

Everyone will be different and a person won't necessarily show all the symptoms mentioned here. Health professionals may be reluctant to give you a definite answer as to when a loved one may die as at times no one really knows when death will occur. 


 

Signs of end stage of life

In general, signs of deterioration that don’t respond to treatment that may indicate end stage of life include:

  •  Profound weakness and fatigue, difficult to rouse
  •  Bed-bound and loss of strength, dependent on others for repositioning
  •  Loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing and unable to take fluids
  •  Weight-loss
  •  Increased pain, confusion or restlessness
  •  Changes in level of consciousness, non-communicative, may still be able to hear you
  •  Incontinent of urine and bowel movements
  •  Unable to or not interested in showering or eating 
  •  Changes in colour as blood circulation slows, feet can appear blue and cold to touch
  •  Irregular breathing patterns, breathing can be shallow, gurgle or rattle, it can stop and start 

 

Who cares for someone at end stage of life? 

The doctors and nurses caring for the person at the end stages of life will do everything they can to ensure the dying person’s comfort is maintained. This may involve measures to relieve pain through the use of morphine, medications to alleviate nausea and agitation and oxygen for breathlessness.

If your loved one is in a residential aged care facility you may be wondering why at the end stages of life your loved one isn't in hospital. If your doctor has indicated that your loved one is in the process of dying and a palliative approach is recommended then usually this care can be given without moving the person.

This decision is up to the dying person and the family. Some people prefer to die in hospital others at home or where they feel most comfortable.

A carer is a valuable source of information. You may feel intimidated by other health professionals but you should always let your concerns be heard and ask questions. You are after all a part of the palliative care team. 


  

Related articles


 

References

Palliative Care Dementia: Enhancing Community Capacity Project, 2006
Information for families and friends of people with severe and end stage dementia

 

 

 

 



8 comments

chloe smith producer wrote 4 days 17 hours ago
The top ties in a halter style and is very comfortable. Are you wondering how to treat a heat rash you think you got from a from being in a tanning bed. Here is a sample list of 20: abortion, addiction, adolescence, break-ups, crime, death, depression, eating disorders, humor, lucky breaks, mental disorders, moral dilemmas, pets, poverty, racism, religion, sex, suicide, turning points, and war.
fort lauderdale plumbers buy eemax sp3512 wrote 5 days 22 hours ago
If you want to take care of your property, the number one thing that you should do is to know your budget. If you have a home built in the 60's or 70's chances are you have no window trim around your window. Your kitchen contractor can create a knee wall contrary to the rear of the bottom cabinets, add a surface that matches other parts of your the kitchen area, and all you must have are bar bar stools.
chloe sims spray suntan supply avon wrote 1 week 4 days ago
Besides spray tan, you can also get lotions, gels, and creams that are easy to apply. Wondering where you can get the perfect sun kissed look for your prom night. Due to their composition they will tend to remain in an upright position and are less likely to sag.
This 4 to 5 foot auger with a curved, tubular hand is similar to a snake and works the same way. You can conveniently switch the radiant cook surface with grilling elements. Now we are going to evaluate kitchen remodeling projects.
chloe nails corpus christi tx wrote 2 weeks 1 day ago
Because we got so used with it, sun no longer is seen as a threat. To reduce this feeling, simply take a clean feather duster or large powder bush and dust your skin lightly with a small amount of baby powder. Its application will give you a perfect look and an even tan without any hassles.
' Propecia is meant to be used in men suffering from male pattern baldness after consulting a doctor. Zinc absorption and vitamin C intake could be synergistic. Hair loss is of concern to most people at one point in their lives.
boca raton fl car Wash wrote 3 weeks 20 hours ago
If your visitor clicks on the ad, the visitor has to buy the product through Clickbank for you to get paid. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has developed and maintains the CPA exam. There's no denying in relation to the position of an accountant in the success of any organization.
Most toilets will have a waterline that is etched into the tank wall to help as a guide. Perhaps each toilet flush is becoming a little slower, or the tub isn't draining after a shower, or an ominous noise is emanating from the sink. Toilet paper is among the most essential product because you are always going to need it and you use it all the time.

Add your comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.