Chapter 1: Considerations for a home death

The promise to stay at home

I’ve been there
Natalie describes the decision to take her mother home to die.(3:22)Video transcript
Description to come(3:22)Video transcript
The palliative care expert says
Description to come(3:22)Video transcript

Maybe there was a terrible, internal battle going on – one part wanting to call it quits and another part, terrified of what that meant, saying “NO!”

If you have promised a family member that you will help them die at home, you may feel anguish at the thought of breaking that promise if things become too challenging or exhausting. If possible, try to remember what you were trying to achieve through the promise. What was the spirit or intent of the commitment? It may be possible to achieve the spirit of the commitment away from the home environment.

Families often experience mixed emotions about a death at home if the person they are caring for becomes unconscious.

Click below to read more about some of the reasons caregivers and families feel these mixed emotions.

What may help

If you find yourself having trouble deciding what to do, imagine the person with the illness could come in and see the situation. If you think that person would say “This is too hard for you. I don’t want to be such a burden on my family,” then in a sense, you’ve been given permission to do what’s best for the entire family, whatever that may be.