Although it is impossible to totally prepare for a death, a death may be made easier if you know what to expect. This information may be helpful in preparing you as family and/or caregiver to understand the final stage of life. It is important to discuss your concerns and fears with those around you, both your family and health care providers. These people can help you make choices for your loved one and can inform you about other services that are available to support you.
Death is a natural process as the body begins shutting down. The following physical and emotional signs of approaching death are described to help you understand what can happen. Not all these signs and symptoms will occur with every person nor will they occur in any particular sequence.
This section is intended only as a guide. It is not intended to replace advice given by a health care professional such as a nurse, physician, clergy member, social worker, CCAC case manager and/or pharmacist.