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What happens when death is near?

An incurable illness and the awareness of approaching death inevitably affect your feelings and thoughts. The patient and their loved ones feel anxious about what is to come and about what has already happened.


When death in near

Being ill means being helpless in the face of illness and losing the ability to make decisions and to act. The incurable illness is a burden, and the symptoms that complicate life add to the suffering.

Advanced illness is associated with many symptoms that can be treated with medication. For people with cancer, the most common symptom is pain. However, many effective pain relief methods are aimed at controlling pain. Some people with cancer do not feel pain at any stage of the disease.

As the disease progresses, the way a person thinks and even their personality may change significantly. Changes in metabolism and the damage caused by cancer can alter their behaviour. But it is important to remember that the new patterns of behaviour are a result of the disease and do not reflect the actual feelings of the patient.

Many people experience psychological distress and depression when they are close to death. If those close to the person are able to deal with the situation in a normal way, the person’s anxiety is often reduced.  Nursing staff, hospital chaplains and hospice workers can help the patient and their loved ones. Psychological symptoms can also be relieved by medication.

It is often impossible to predict exactly how long a person will need hospice care. Thanks to advanced treatments, the patient’s general condition may remain moderate for a relatively long time, but may suddenly collapse and death may follow quickly. Death itself is often a peaceful and uneventful event.

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