Other symptoms

As you approach the final days or hours of life, various symptoms can occur as the body’s systems start shutting down. These may affect breathing, bladder and bowel function, and behaviour. Such symptoms can be managed to help you feel more comfortable.

It is natural to feel concerned about others witnessing some of these physical changes. However, the changes are a normal part of the dying process. Your medical team understand this and can help explain what is happening to your family and friends.

Some people find it reassuring to know more about what might happen in the last stages, when they may no longer be fully conscious, but others find it distressing. If you would like to know more, the process is described in Providing physical support.

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on facing end of life.

This information was last reviewed in January 2017
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