Where to die

Choosing where you would like to die is a personal decision, but it can be can be a confusing and difficult decision to make. This section describes the options of dying in your own home, in a palliative care unit or hospice, in hospital, or in a residential aged care facility. Each option has pros and cons.

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Making your choice

Having some control over where death occurs is often cited as a key factor in dying well, but where that place might be will be different for everyone. As well as your own preferences, you’ll need to evaluate your physical needs and the support that can be provided by family and friends.

Discuss with your family, friends and health care team where you would like to have end-of-life care and what is important to you. Find out their views and preferences. Having these conversations as early as possible and planning ahead can increase the chances of care being able to be provided in your place of choice.

In some cases, you may feel like your choice is limited, and that the practicalities help decide the setting. This may be because you have medical needs that only a hospital or palliative care unit (hospice) can meet, or you may live in an area too remote for home visits.

Your house may be unsuitable, perhaps because of stairs or a small bathroom, or you may not have any family or friends in a position to provide care for you at home. Talk to the palliative care team about your concerns and find out what options are available in your area.

What if you change your mind?

Where you would like to die may change over time and as your circumstances change. This is understandable and your wishes should be respected whenever possible. You may need to have ongoing conversations with your carers and medical team about the best place for your care.

This information was last reviewed in January 2017
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