Background

Background

A long time the idea lived, that palliative care is synonymous to pain management. Twenty years ago, terminal patients were often hospitalized, and got an infusion to control pain with morphine and to keep the patient ‘quiet’. Not rarely the patient was delirious. Unpleasant for the patient and unpleasant for the family who are holding a wake at the patient.
Over the past two decades many new insights gained and new knowledge acquired around the care for people in their last phase of life.
Patients prefer to die at home or, if this is not possible, in a hospice. Family doctors consider palliative care today to be an essential part of their profession. For some, even the ‘cherries on the pie’.
Palliative care – the care for terminally sick and dying – is unknown territory for many people, but everyone gets to do with it. As patient, friend or as spouse. Palliative care is not only important for people with cancer, but also for people who die from old age, to emphysema, heart failure, neurological disorders, etc.

Commissioned by STEM foundation, conducted TNS NIPO in 2008 a representative survey among the Dutch population. To sum up the results:

  • Half of the people who want to die at home, die elsewhere.
  • The possibilities of terminal home care, is still insufficiently known.
  • Dying threatens to be medicalized .
  • We threaten to lose contrli over our own existence and dying.
  • Talking about death is not easy, often even a taboo.

The thought is that if people rather think about death, and those thoughts share with their loved ones, it is more likely that the end of their life go’s as they want it.
It is therefore important to give people knowledge and understanding before their dying day. Explain how to handle a fire during the fire, is less effective than explain in advance what you can do. It can help people to to think early about their wishes and gives them tools to be in control in their last phase of life.