ERIC Number: ED303742
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Death in the Family: Transforming a Time of Despair into a Time of Strengthening.
In hospice, those who work with families have an opportunity to help the terminally ill patient and the patient's family experience death as a time for growth. There are four basic concepts of the hospice philosophy: (1) the patient and the family are the units of care; (2) physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of the patient and the family are assessed by an interdisciplinary team; (3) pain management is a cornerstone of care; and (4) there is follow-up care to help the survivors work through their emotions. Hospice workers can help to strengthen the family and the patient by encouraging family members to become actively involved in the patient's care, by affirming individual and family strengths, by brining a calmness to the family's anxiety, and by supporting the patient's quality of life right to the end. Helpful tools for Hospice workers include a knowledge of family systems, life cycle, and death and dying literature, along with the works of Maslow, Erikson, and Kubler-Ross. Hospice workers need excellent communication skills and good listening skills. Finally, hospice workers need to be aware of the side effects of drugs used to relieve pain, and be able to help families understand these side effects. An awareness of cultural rituals associated with death, and an attitude that death is beautiful are also tools useful to the hospice worker. (NB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Family Strengths (Malibu, CA, June 11-13, 1987).