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Hospice nurse reveals what people say before dying

The Independent
The Independent
 2021-11-18

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A hospice nurse from California has revealed what most people say before they die.

Julie, who goes only by her first name on social media, has been working as a hospice nurse in Los Angeles for the past five years and has been educating people about death on TikTok .

Hospice care is a type of health care that focuses on relieving a terminally ill patient’s pain and symptoms and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life.

“I love educating patients and families about what to expect with hospices and what to expect with the specific disease they are dying from,” Julie told The Sun. “I also really like giving the patient and family some comfort knowing we will be there to manage their symptoms.”

She said she has been doing this kind of work for the past 14 years as she was an ICU nurse for nine years before moving to hospice care.

Recently, the registered nurse posted a video describing things that happen to most people right before they die, including changes in a person’s skin colour, breathing pattern, and secretions from body parts.

She said that though these things may appear unusual, they are absolutely typical at that stage.

“There is something most people say before they die, and it’s usually ‘I love you’ or they call out to their mum or dad – who have usually already died,” Julie said.

She added that it is hard to generalise what happens when people die as each individual is unique in their own way.

However, she said, if someone is dying of natural causes in hospice care, most people have similar symptoms during the “actively dying phase”.

“The symptoms of the actively dying phase include changes in consciousness, changes in breathing, mottling and terminal secretions,” Julie said. “These are normal and not painful or uncomfortable.”

She added: “Our bodies take care of ourselves at the end of life – the less we intervene, the better.”

The nurse also addressed “some assumptions” that people make about hospice care, including that morphine makes people die faster and that everyone at a hospice dies immediately. These were false, she said.

“Another one that’s completely not true is that hospices kill people,” she added.

Comments / 1352

Lisa Miller
11-18

This story is somewhat true but in my experience when Hospice was with my Mother they advised me to stop giving her water and food to "help her journey", which I totally ignored and by the Grace of God, my Mother came out of it stronger than ever and continues to be so strong, it's AMAZING!!!!!

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camille
11-18

My mother was unconscious while dying, then at the last minute opened her eyes, said, she is so beautiful! I am convinced she saw Mary, our blessed mother who she was very dedicated to. Believe in God!

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B.K.
11-18

I was a Hospice nurse and the person dying usually handles death better then the family, until the end when the family is exhausted from caring for them. The families don't receive the personal support they need to manage end of life never mind the emotional part. Not everyone can handle 24,7 care for months, sometimes.

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