stages of dying

stages of dying

Etymology: OFr, estage, stage; ME, dyen, to lose life
the five emotional and behavioral stages that may occur after a person or family first learns of approaching death. The stages, identified and described by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, are denial and shock, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The stages may occur in sequence or they may recur, as the person moves forward and backward-especially among denial, anger, and bargaining. Caring for a dying person requires sensitivity to the signs of each stage. At first, shock may be accompanied by signs of panic. The person may refuse care and deny the diagnosis and prognosis. Denial serves as a defense against the shock. Anger often follows this stage. It is characterized by abusive language, refusal to perform basic self-care responsibilities, negative criticism of anyone who wants to help, and other kinds of angry behavior. The third stage, bargaining, reflects the need of the person for time to accept the situation. A common observation of this period is the patient's attempt to make a bargain, "If I could live until Christmas ..." Commonly, the person goes back and forth from anger to bargaining: sometimes silent, sometimes grieving, and sometimes apathetic, depressed, insomniac, and distant. The fourth stage is a time of depression in which the person goes through a period of grieving before death, mourning over past experiences and anticipating impending losses. The final stage, acceptance, is one of inner peace and resolution that death is a certainty. The person may show his or her acceptance by being uninterested in present or future events, being preoccupied with past events, preferring to have few visitors, and wanting quiet and solitude. Nursing care includes administering adequate pain relief, ensuring privacy and dignity, and giving sensitive, honest emotional support to both patient and family. See also emotional care of the dying patient, hospice.
References in periodicals archive ?
I do not want to sound morbid but our reaction to the progress report saga, has very strong similarities to Dr Kubler-Ross' five stages of dying and death -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
As with Positive Aging, Hill supports his claims with classic developmental models such as Erik Erickson's eight stages of adult development, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of dying, and Robert Atchley's continuity theory, as well as the exploration of life-span theory.
In 1969 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described the five stages of dying, which helped us understand and better help those who were dealing with death and bereavement.
The person moves through the stages of dying, starting with an acceptance on the part of the body, a withdrawal of the energy through the chakras, the pre-death vision, to the final dissipation of the soul.
He argued that if a person is in the final stages of dying, one is not permitted to hasten or prolong the process.
She became an international lecturer on the five psychological stages of dying that she had identified (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), and by the end of the decade she was president of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Center and the Shanti Nilaya Growth and Healing Center.
All nursing home staff must have an orientation that covers the stages of dying, the problems faced by those dying, bereavement issues for the family, and care for themselves as caregivers.
Buckman (1989) acknowledged Kubler-Ross' (1969) five stages of dying but preferred to view these stages as emotional reactions experienced by terminally ill patients.
In this way, many would realize that the final stages of dying are peaceful and calm and exaggerated fear of death would be lessened.
Ritual also gives meaning to many of the stages of dying, if not to the ultimate experience.
In the early 1980s, the writings of Elizabeth Kubler Ross about the stages of dying were attracting attention and the hospice movement was gaining momentum.
I approached the director of social services and the facility administrator with the idea of presenting an in-house workshop for staff education that includes such topics as the stages of dying, the psychosocial and physical aspects of the process, how to assist the dying resident and addressing bereavement issues for the caregiver.