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Remembering Residents of Care Homes After They Have Died
  1. Barbara Harpwood, Manager and
  2. Melanie Unwin, Deputy Matron
  1. Kingsley House Nursing Home, Tetbury, Gloucester. Email: kingsleyhouse.nursinghome{at}virgin.net

Abstract

Staff members working in busy care homes that provide nursing and their residents often do not have the opportunity to express feelings of loss when a resident dies. Residents may live in care homes for many years, whereupon staff members and residents become very attached to each other. When a resident dies, it can be like losing a member of the family. This article recounts the steps taken by staff members in a care home to alleviate such feelings of loss and resolve the important issue of lack of available support for residents, relatives and staff members when a client dies in the home. Following participation in an educational end-of-life care initiative run by the local hospice, staff members at the author’s care home decided to plan and implement a service of thanksgiving and celebration. This gave care home staff members and residents a sense of peace and fulfilment in a job well done. It helped other residents to feel comforted by the knowledge that they too would be honoured and remembered when they died. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Bereavement
  • Care homes
  • Grief
  • Service of remembrance
  • Staff support

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