Growing old and getting sick: Maintaining a positive spirit at the end of life

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Abstract

End of life throws up significant mental health challenges. A high proportion of people in the terminal stages of illness experience depressive symptoms. This paper integrates a theory of hierarchy of human needs and empirical research describing experiences of grief and depression in terminal illness, to develop a model of care aimed at reducing depression and suffering. This care attends to physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects, taking into account the concerns of patients and their families. Professional help can be offered to patients to restore dignity and hope, strengthen their ways of coping, and encourage social connections. To offer this, a well-resourced and coordinated, multidisciplinary and skilled workforce is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148 - 154
Number of pages7
JournalThe Australian Journal of Rural Health
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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