According to the modern health care needs, it is important to explore the end of life beliefs, preferences and practices so that dignified death is assured which is the right of every human being. It is a way that the elderly share and communicate their wishes regarding end of life that helps the health care professionals to provide better end of life care. The objectives of the study were to assess the beliefs, preferences and practices about end of life care among the elderly as measured by self-administered structured questionnaires. An exploratory survey approach with non-probability convenient sampling was adopted for the study. The samples in the study were 384 elderly above 60 years of age residing in the adopted villages of MCON Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal. The results of the study revealed that majority (52.1%) were females with a mean age of 67years (range 60-82 years), almost (79.2%) belonged to Hindu religion. Overall (88.8%) discussed the end of life wishes with their family and friends, (100%) wants to die at home, and majority (96.40%) are taken care of by their children. Most of them are not aware of living wills and never heard of durable power of attorney. Most of them (96.4%) expressed their desire to travel to places of religious pilgrimage and (85.7%) desires mantra to be chanted during death and dying process. Almost (63.5%) of the elderly wishes to get I.V pain medications during the end of life and apparently (52.3%) of the elderly do not want to plan their funeral but (70.1%) elderly expects that their spiritual rituals to be conducted during the end of life. Conclusion: Understanding end of life beliefs, preferences and practices will help health care professionals take appropriate decisions in caring for the elderly in their end of life.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine