It Is wise to take the hand of a dying person to hold?

The Day of the Last Goodbye (1 June) should provide more attention to dying and the care that goes with it. Often surviving relatives have no idea of what needs to be done. Find dying the for example fine if you like their hand(s) holding in the last hours?

A ready answer to that question is not there, says Marcel Olde Rikkert, professor in geriatrics and is connected to the Radboudumc. The same applies to the question of whether a dying or would not be allowed to hug, or to his or her bed should be sitting. “There is so much variation in how people on their deathbed experience and want to experience.” And so whether people want their hand held, ” he explains. “It would be much too simple to say that neighbor with something or should not do.”

Instead, it is important to be good on the dying to look to see if there is a preference, says Olde Rikkert. “I think that lots of people can give direction to what for them is the best way.” Sometimes, it turns out that from a reaction, but also to any pain signals or breathing can give an impression.

“A lot of dying can give direction to what for them is the best way of death”
Marcel Olde Rikkert, professor in geriatrics

If someone is on his deathbed can’t print, for example, because he a lot of analgesic or sleep inducing medication, should the assessment be made on the basis of knowledge of him or her. Professionals can help, tips Olde Rikkert. “Then it is to be hoped that someone is there for him or her already know, for example the general practitioner, instead of a pijnteam just flown in but not the whole story.”

Not everyone likes physical contact in the last hours so comfortable. In addition, each dying a desire to “to turn inward” as the dying process progresses. If a dying person does not want to be held, and, for example, calmer is if it does not, says nothing about his or her relationship with the neighbors.

The dying takes away

Ineke Koedam is chairman of the National centre of Expertise Die and has many years of experience in the hospicezorg. She tells: “When someone almost dies, a lot happens. Physically, but also mentally. Someone pulls slowly out of the outside world back. It is important that the dying person that all the rest can do.”

As the need for physical contact with the dying is decreasing, then for loved ones difficult. Koedam: “It is as if the dying away and in fact, this is true. It is often the time that neighbors will realize that their loved one really is going to die and that the parting is near. Than can be very sad.”

“You don’t have to be sad when someone dies when anyone just off the room is”
Ineke Koedam, chairman of the National centre of Expertise Die

Life as long as everyone is away

It also happens sometimes that relatives for hours or even for days, waking in a dying, which then just dies as everyone the room. Koedam: “That feels for the people often pretended to be the dying ‘out slip’. But for some, it is so difficult to have the life to let loose, that’s easier if everyone is gone.”

That survivors sometimes feel that they are dying have abandoned, is perhaps understandable but not necessary. Koedam: “You don’t be sad because you was not there, but actually must realize that the dying person in his own way is gone.”

A few general tips for an upcoming death:

  • Make sure that it is not too crowded in the room. A quiet room also gives the dying peace. Professor of geriatrics Olde Rikkert: “Usually, people want to be in such a situation not to many stimuli, which can also lead to fear or uncertainty, so dose she.”
  • Even if someone has not the knowledge, the senses often by. So avoid noise, such as fierce discussions or loud music.
  • That also applies to smells: some flowers in the bed may look marvelous for the neighbors, but unpleasant strong smell for the dying.

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