Death for most is with family: peaceful and painless PDF Print E-mail

Fall 2001

A study of 4,000 people, aged 65 and over, done by way of interviews with family members, found:

Some general findings:

  • most spend their last days in their own homes with family and friends
  • most are alert and in control of their bodily functions without pain
  • most are not depressed and express a feeling of hope
  • most did not die in isolation

On the day of death:

  • 51% had no disorientation or difficulty recognizing family
  • 87% had no nausea
  • 52% could breathe freely
  • 69% had no pain

Source: M. Powell Lawton, Philadelphia Geriatric Center; published in Milbank Quarterly, 1990, vol. 68, pp. 1-28. Copies of the study are available by writing to Milbank Memorial Fund, 1 East 75th St., New York, NY. 10024.

 

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