Understanding End-of-Life in a Long-Term Care Home: Perceptions of Bereaved Family Members
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Rather than a natural aspect of life, adherence to the medical model within long-term care (LTC) homes has framed death as something to be avoided and a failure of the system. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to contribute to the ongoing discussion in the literature regarding the experience of dying and death in a LTC home from the perspective of bereaved family members. Interviews were conducted with eight family members who had a relative die in a LTC home within the preceding 12 months. Interviews with participants focused on their experiences while their relative approached the end-of-life, at the time of death, and after their death. My findings resulted in the overall theme of Respecting the Life and Death. Within this theme, I found that taking a compassionate approach to care; staff, families, and residents coming together for care; and the continuation of care all supported residents on their end-of-life journey. The findings of this research call attention to the multifaceted nature of dying beyond physiological care and work to address ways to provide quality end-of life care.