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What happens at the end?

Talking about death and dying can be confronting but having information about what happens in the last days or weeks of a person’s life can make the experience less frightening and assist in making choices about care.

Generally the process of dying is peaceful and any symptoms that develop can be managed with palliative care.  Whether a person dies at home, hospital or a nursing home, palliative care will assist in providing quality care so the person can die in comfort, dignity and with the support of their loved ones.

Remember that your doctor, community nurse or Palliative Care service are available to talk about any questions or concerns you may have about the process of dying. For more information the following resources may also be useful.

 Palliative Care Australia – The Dying Process. This electronic brochure outlines the changes that may occur during the dying process, signs that a person has died and information on what to do after someone has passed away.

CareSearch Palliative Care Knowledge Network has a video “At the End” in English, Greek, Italian and Cantonese.  It has also extensive information on caring for a person at the end of their life, changes seen at the time of death, advice on deciding where you would like to die and information on preparing for the end, (with written information, links and on line videos).

PalAssist is a Queensland-wide, no-cost 24-hour telephone and online service for palliative care patients, carers, family and friends seeking practical information and emotional support. Contact them on 1800 772 273 or via their website.

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