How will I know that the end is near?

For many, dying is a gradual shutting down of the body’s systems. Energy levels fluctuate and there are good days along with days when you can’t do much at all. Appetite reduces and sips of water or a teaspoon of food here and there may be enough.

As death gets closer, it’s common to have little interest in talking and the outside world. You may find your attention withdrawing from family and friends, and you may sleep more and more during the day.

Near the end, many people slip into unconsciousness before dying, although some remain alert almost until the end. Others may have phases where they are awake and can talk, and then slip back into unconsciousness.

No-one knows how a dying person experiences the moment of death. Whatever happens, it is thought to be a peaceful moment.


This information was last reviewed in January 2017
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