The Living–Dying Interval in Nursing Home-Based End-of-Life Care: Family Caregivers’ Experiencesedit
Guided by concepts from the living–dying interval (Pattison, 1977) this study sought to explore family members’ experiences with a dying nursing home resident. In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 caregivers of residents who had died. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Themes that illuminated families’ experiences on the living–dying interval were: an acute medical crisis (trigger events, accumulation of stressors, level of care crisis); the living–dying phase (advance care planning, hospitalization, end-stage decisions); and the terminal phase (beginning of the end, awareness of dying). The results illustrate critical periods for social work intervention with families of dying nursing home residents.