Not scared of dying but of dying scared

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  • Ann Cooper says:

    Thank you for this excellent article. One thing that is missing here is recognizing that not all LTC residents have surviving family or friends that can visit and advocate for them. They are more at risk than most of being overlooked, abused and/or neglected. Also there is a great difference between Long Term Care and Palliative care. They must be addressed individually along with the transition between the two

  • Darren Cargill says:

    Very well written. Thank you.

    “some deaths occurring in long-term care that are well managed by staff and are peaceful for residents. These care facilities adhere to best end-of-life practices that pay close attention to residents and support them where they are in their end-of-life trajectory.

    This, sadly, is not the norm.”

    Even sadder, palliative care has been grossly under-resourced for decades. The ability for underperforming LTCs to access palliative care support is hindered by the lack of vision and foresight to recognize this. The federal government’s “Action Plan” for palliative care will also not address these issues. More must be done.

  • Deb Egan says:

    I am interested in supporting any group that is working on this important issue. Thank you for writing this article. This is the he shadow side of not having a robust pandemic plan that has been developed with input from all stakeholders. It is stressful and heart-breaking for all!

  • Denyse Lynch says:

    It is unacceptable and unforgivable treatment by our government to prevent “caregivers” from being with their loved ones in LTC at the end of their lives. It is also inhuman to caregivers who will be haunted by this soul destroying memory until the end of their own lives. Please, this emotional ABUSE & NEGLECT must STOP

  • Peter Dodek says:

    Thank you both for this important article. Part of what you are describing is the moral distress created by the conflict between what we know we ought to be doing, and what is actually happening. Leaders at all levels can anticipate these conflicts and work proactively to prevent and mitigate them. COVID-19 is not our first nor our last catastrophe to learn from.

  • heather sylvester-giroux says:

    As a nurse, I have suggested “end of life suites” for unexpected and predicted death. Many times there are no palliative beds. The suite would be easily accessible in emerg, ICU and long term care so visitors have privacy to come and go. A kitchenette, couch/chair for guests to rest allows family to stay. Patient bed can be larger to allow someone to snuggle. It could be supported during pandemic precautions.

  • Anne Marie Madziak says:

    I’m wondering why you chose not to mention training/professional development in palliative care for LTC staff as one of the actions that must be taken. An excellent article, and I am extremely grateful to see it, but my experience is that it all rests on the attitudes and understanding of the staff.

    • Jeff Moat says:

      My thoughts exactly, Anne. Training is absolutely key. This is where fundamental change begins.


Kelli Stajduhar


Kelli Stajduhar, RN, PhD, is a Professor, School of Nursing and Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, University of Victoria, British Columbia. 

Denise S. Cloutier


Denise S. Cloutier, PhD, is a Professor, Department of Geography and Research Fellow, Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, University of Victoria, British Columbia.

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