Communication at End of Life
Mahreen Kamran, PhD Scholar
14 march, 2019
I am PhD scholar at Riphah Internatioal University in Creative Arts and Communication. I first became a student at this university when I joined my MS Media Sciences program. My MS degree was huge achievement and I achieved scholarship throughout the entire program. My journey of PhD starts from October, 2018 from Riphah University. I learnt a lot from my research proposal class. This course was challenging but to round off this blog I finally selected my research area which is unique in nature. My course instructor remained very helpful in final selection of topic. My research revolves around senior citizens’ with their experiences and communication at end of Life. I am keenly interested to suggest Behavior Change Communication (BCC) strategy for kids to learn quality experiences of older people.
Communication is a fundamental need of every human being. It is an essence of life. Communication is a two way process and it is based on interaction. It is never ending process to encode and decode the messages. It conveys message through verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. Communication is necessity of life. Communication is an eternal process from life till end of life. Verbal and non-verbal communication starts from birth and ends at death. It promotes an ability to bring emotional appeal in relationships. Communication has great importance in life. Communication is just like breathing. I want to talk about its importance in life. In life we use communication strategy for interactions, developing relationships and conveying our meaning to other people. Communication can resolve our many issues like misunderstandings, restlessness and strengthen our personal disclosures
Communication in Health Care
Communication establishes strong bond between any relationships. In health communication, communication can be described as an effective remedy. According to Brashers and Babrow (1996) “Communication in health and illness develops one of the most vital source of human experiences” (p. 243). Through effective communication, we can satisfy patient needs, queries and emotional stress. Communication helps patient to discuss their problems with doctors, nurses, caregivers and family members. Communication establishes bond between any relationships. Informed patients will adopt better choices and they accept death as perpetual reality of life.
Talking to People who are near Death
Talking with dying and end of life are the most critical scenarios of communication. At the last stage of life, when patients are terminally ill and they want to share many experiences about life. Their experiences are based on bitter realities and quality of life aspects. Their experiences, perceptions, feelings and conclusions about life has great importance and it should be conveyed to younger generation. Older persons want to share their practical information to others so that they could die with dignity. Communication at this stage reduce stress and anxiety of patients. Communication is the fundamental need of human being. As person gets older he needs communication to talk about him, his life and his experiences. Good communication leads towards better health outcomes.
Communication with loved ones
Sometimes patient feel uncomfortable to share their secrets with others. At this stage, loved ones and relatives plays an important role to fulfill this gap. The care of family members play an important role at this crucial stage and older people feel relax after communicating with their loved ones. Non-verbal communication is also vital in daily life. Gestures, body expressions, smile, happiness, eye contact and facial expressions provide constant relief to patients. Touch is very powerful non-verbal communication and it conveys care and affection to patient.
Fear of Death
Some older people take death as taboo. They fear from death and they feel stress to talk about it. Communication is the key to effectively communicate with them on daily basis and tell them that it is the reality of life and one day everyone has to confront the situation. Discuss with patient about death, define a good death, talk to his family and increase his confidence. It is no doubt that good communication skills give you feeling of comfort and reduce the stress. Listen the patient and respond him timely. At the end of life, when there is lack of trust and decision making gets weak everyone needs company and communication.
Communication skills and interpersonal relationships play very effective role in one’s life. Effective communication can support the experience of difficult moments in life. It is as an essential attribute of quality care at the end of life.