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Hospice patients die in various settings, including at home with family caregivers. Hospice offers a time-of-death visit to provide support and confirm death, a requirement in some states but not all. Few studies have been conducted among home hospice families exploring their experiences without a time-of-death visit. To better understand the family's experience regarding the time of death of their loved one, we conducted an exploratory study using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Home hospice families who had experienced a death within the last 6 to 13 months and had not received a time-of-death visit were recruited. Seven interviews were conducted, and data were analyzed using an emergent thematic approach. Major themes included caregiver's previous experience with death, caregiver support, final hours, and reasons for not selecting a time-of-death visit. Results showed families did well without a time-of-death visit when strong social support was present and conveyed the importance of allowing personal choice. Further research is needed to identify families in need of time-of-death visits and targeted support needs and to inform practice and policy guidelines.
This article was published in the following journal.
Nurses caring for patients at end of life are faced with many ethical dilemmas. A patient's desire to commit suicide affects not only the person who commits suicide but also the patient's family, frie...
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Nursing care given to an individual in the home. The care may be provided by a family member or a friend. Home nursing as care by a non-professional is differentiated from HOME CARE SERVICES provided by professionals: visiting nurse, home health agencies, hospital, or other organized community group.
A nursing specialty in which skilled nursing care is provided to patients in their homes by registered or licensed practical NURSES. Home health nursing differs from HOME NURSING in that home health nurses are licensed professionals, while home nursing involves non-professional caregivers.
Public or private organizations that provide, either directly or through arrangements with other organizations, home health services in the patient's home. (Hospital Administration Terminology, 2d ed)
A nursing specialty concerned with care of patients facing serious or life-threatening illnesses. The goal of palliative nursing is to prevent and relieve suffering, and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. Hospice nursing is palliative care for people in their final stages of life.
Specialized health care, supportive in nature, provided to a dying person. A holistic approach is often taken, providing patients and their families with legal, financial, emotional, or spiritual counseling in addition to meeting patients' immediate physical needs. Care may be provided in the home, in the hospital, in specialized facilities (HOSPICES), or in specially designated areas of long-term care facilities. The concept also includes bereavement care for the family. (From Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)