It is rare to hear from people in their tenth or eleventh decade but their voices are crucial to shaping end-of-life care services.
Palliative care should be a time of shared care; when the doctor continues treating their patient’s disease while symptom control and preparation for death track alongside.
Research shows people who suffer from loss of meaning die earlier than those who maintain purpose. We can help people find meaning again by nurturing their “spirit”.
If presented with a client who has death anxiety, we ask them to tell us what exactly they fear about death. Once we have this information, there are several approaches to treating fear of death.
Children’s perceptions of death vary with developmental stages. Understanding these is key to helping them normalise their thoughts and feelings when someone they know dies.
We manage our fear of death by creating a sense of permanence and meaning in life. But for some people, death anxiety results in pathological coping mechanisms, such as being afraid of spiders.