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J Gerontol Soc Work. 2011 Nov;54(8):768-87. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2011.596918.

The living-dying interval in nursing home-based end-of-life care: family caregivers' experiences.

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School of Social Work, University at Buffalo, New York, USA.


Guided by concepts from the living-dying interval ( Pattison, 1977 ) this study sought to explore family members' experiences with a dying nursing home resident. In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 caregivers of residents who had died. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Themes that illuminated families' experiences on the living-dying interval were: an acute medical crisis (trigger events, accumulation of stressors, level of care crisis); the living-dying phase (advance care planning, hospitalization, end-stage decisions); and the terminal phase (beginning of the end, awareness of dying). The results illustrate critical periods for social work intervention with families of dying nursing home residents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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