Chapter 1: Considerations for a home death
Things to think about
I know my mother wanted to honour his last wish to die at home, but she had so much to consider. I wasn’t sure how she could manage it.
If you are considering a home death for you or a member of your family, there are some basic elements that will help make that possible. These include:
- Do the person who is ill and the family both support the idea of a home death?
- Is more than one family/friend caregiver available?
- Is skilled medical support available at any hour of the day?
After these basics, there are some additional practical considerations such as those listed below.
Does the family have the resources to support a home death?
Does the home have wheelchair access?
Are there a bedroom and bathroom on the main floor?
Can caregivers afford to take time off work?
Are they eligible for caregiver benefits?
Additionally, you may want to consider whether there is enough space in the home for medical equipment that would help in providing care.
Is the patient able to perform some tasks, or does the caregiver need to help with all tasks?
Transferring to a toilet or holding a spoon for eating.
If the patient is having physical symptoms, has the caregiver been provided the needed resources and information to make the patient comfortable?
Pain, trouble breathing.
Is the family comfortable with healthcare providers coming into the home to help with caregiving?
Home care workers, palliative care nurses or doctors, and others may visit the home.