Taking dying patient home with children - what are your thoughts?

  1. 6
    I was reading a SW's note on a patient recently and read about the family's refusal to take patient home because they have little children. I am encountering more and more people these days who want to shield their children from seeing death/dying.

    I am a huge proponent of providing hospice care at home, allowing people to die in their own bed, surrounded by their family. Not in a hospital. Not in a nursing facility. And so, I am saddened by this situation.

    When I was little, I remember my aunts taking care of my dying grandmother at home. I remember her vacant stare, a tube from her nose, the deep, gasping breaths. It was strange to me, but I was not scared or anything. I feel like we underestimate children a lot. I think kids can take it. Even learn an important lesson about life that way.

    What do you think? Would you feel comfortable letting your children see a family member dying, or do you think dying person should be kept away from children?
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  3. 37 Comments so far...

  4. 17
    When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, he came home. Our TV room became a mini ICU; with suction, tube feed, PCA, TPN, BSC. He spent the majority of his last 4 months with his 6, 9 and 12 year old kids.

    Yeah, they had some issues during their teens, but that came more with losing their daddy than being kept away from him.
    KelRN215, AmyRN303, imintrouble, and 14 others like this.
  5. 7
    Such is this culture... I am glad I wasn't brought up here. I will NEVER let my parents even step on the parking lot of nursing homes. It's really sad, this country.
  6. 1
    I can understand if the kids are under 5.
    imintrouble likes this.
  7. 3
    I can understand it in the sense that they don't know how he will die. Will it be a pretty morphine go to sleep death? Or may it perhaps be gorier and more painful? Family especially, without medical background, may have no idea what the death will look like so they not want to risk exposing their kids to it.
  8. 0
    Quote from nichefinder
    Such is this culture... I am glad I wasn't brought up here. I will NEVER let my parents even step on the parking lot of nursing homes. It's really sad, this country.
    Yes, this country is so horrible and depraved. Sad, sad country. I wish I grew up elsewhere.
  9. 6
    [QUOTE="tokebi;7778682"]I was reading a SW's note on a patient recently and read about the family's refusal to take patient home because they have little children. I am encountering more and more people these days who want to shield their children from seeing death/dying.

    I am a huge proponent of providing hospice care at home, allowing people to die in their own bed, surrounded by their family. Not in a hospital. Not in a nursing facility. And so, I am saddened by this situation.

    When I was little, I remember my aunts taking care of my dying grandmother at home. I remember her vacant stare, a tube from her nose, the deep, gasping breaths. It was strange to me, but I was not scared or anything. I feel like we underestimate children a lot. I think kids can take it. Even learn an important lesson about life that way.

    What do you think? Would you feel comfortable letting your children see a family member dying, or do you think dying person should be kept away from children?[/QUOTE

    I have no problem allowing my children see loved ones die naturally. My parents had stated their wishes though. They would rather be in a nice nursing home than be a burden to their family. Their feelings came from them going through this with their own parents. I can't judge, and neither should an outsider to the family.
    RetRN77, tokebi, imintrouble, and 3 others like this.
  10. 2
    Love and learning what Love is, is about the circle of life, death is part of life, explaining to children what is going on according to the age level helps them understand except death as a part of life and the journey we all will make. They should not be brought up to be fearful of death, but to understand it, it is ok to be saddened by it, they should be part of their family during this process and they won't be so angry about the loss if they understand the process, yes they will be sad that they did not have the person in their life longer, but they will be able to talk about the experience and express their feelings because they will have experienced it and be taught how to express those feelings. They will have a better ability to be able to let someone they Love go instead of keeping them on life support, they will be comfortable enough to discuss death and the wishes of their Loved ones. Yes I believe they should be part of it, keeping them away from it causes them to internalize feelings that they don't understand instead of being able to be comfortable expressing them in an appropriate manner
    tokebi and kungpoopanda like this.
  11. 1
    well, to be little fair now, I think I must have just seen bad side of things... it's easier to see bad things happen a lot more often than good things especially working in this field. damn all that bedside is turning me bitter, i must run away hahaha
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  12. 18
    I like America. I'm proud of this wonderful nation. I was born and raised here. I love my country, warts and all.


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