Planning for a Home Death
- Many palliative care patients wish for a home death, but despite this the majority of people continue to die in hospital
- It is important that the person’s wish to die at home (or elsewhere) is identified and discussed well before the terminal phase
- Whilst significant barriers to home deaths exist, some of these can be overcome by active planning and timely practical support
- When caregivers do not want or cannot cope with a home death, then it may not be achievable.
- Keeping a dying person comfortable at home requires both medical and nursing input. The GP’s involvement in supporting families in this phase is crucial.
- When a patient does not have access to a GP who will do home visits, assess, prescribe appropriate medications, and write a death certificate, then a home death may not be achievable.