- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Facing end of life
- Where to die
- Dying in a residential aged care facility
Dying in a residential aged care facility
A residential aged care facility (formerly called a nursing home) is a place where people stay who need continual care and help with daily living. These facilities cater for people with a range of chronic conditions, and nurses and aged care workers can provide care 24 hours a day. Some aged care facilities also provide respite and hospice care.
Some people fear that dying in residential aged care will be unpleasant and perhaps impersonal. But dying in an aged care facility can be comforting, particularly if it has been your home for a period of time and you are familiar with the staff, who will try to make you comfortable.
Residential aged care facility: what are the benefits?
- A less clinical environment than some hospitals.
- Experienced staff to manage symptoms and needs.
- May be located close to carers, family or friends.
- Provides 24-hour care.
- Family and friends can go home to get some rest. But some carers may find this difficult.
- Some families prefer not to live in a house where someone has died.
Ensuring your wishes are respected
If you want to die in a residential aged care facility, ensure that you have an advance care directive in place. Talk to your care providers about avoiding an unnecessary transfer to hospital at the end of life.
Dr Megan Ritchie, Staff Specialist Palliative Medicine, Palliative Care Service, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; Gabrielle Asprey, Cancer Support Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Rosemary Cavanough, Consumer; Louise Durham, Nurse Practitioner, Metro South Palliative Care Service, QLD; Tracey Gardner, Senior Psychologist, Cancer Counselling Service, Cancer Council Queensland; Karen Hall, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Linda Nolte, Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia, VIC; Rowena Robinson, Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia, ACT; Helena Rodi, Program Manager, Advance Care Planning Australia, VIC.
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