4.7 Recognising the actively dying phase

When it has been identified that the person with Parkinson’s is in the dying phase, it is important they continue to receive a high standard of care which is structured and focused on providing good symptom control and comfort. The appropriate mechanisms should be in place to support the family and carers at this difficult time (Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, 2010).

Recognising final stage of life for people with Parkinson’s is challenging and unpredictable, perhaps occurring over a period of days or weeks rather than days or hours. As the person with Parkinson’s may have deteriorated over a long period of time it is important to regularly assess and monitor them and inform the family of the possibility of approaching death. The changing focus of care should be explained, and the family circle allowed to prepare for the loss of their loved one.

4.6 Management of psychological care

4.7.1 Withdrawing or rationalising treatment in the dying phase