Survey: Every second wants to die at home

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The majority of Germans want to be accompanied by death

According to a recent survey, the majority of Germans wish not to die alone, but to be accompanied by their life partner or family members. For some people, a hospice is also an alternative.

Life partner and family as a companion to the death About every second German (49 percent) wishes to die at home. In addition, 61 percent do not want to be alone in their last hours. This was the result of a representative survey by the Center for Quality in Nursing (ZQP). Accordingly, 82 percent of those surveyed want to have their life partner with them at the last moment of their lives. 70 percent of those surveyed stated that they wanted to have their family around them. And one in five (20 percent) spoke in favor of being alone in the block of eyes of death. Only three or four percent could imagine dying in the hospital or in a nursing home. According to the ZQP, however, the reality is somewhat different and an estimated 65 to 75 percent of people in Germany die in inpatient facilities.

Hospice is an alternative for some people With 27 percent, almost one in three said they wanted to die in a hospice. 70 percent of those interviewed who have already had the experience of caring for or caring for a loved one in their life wish to be accompanied. And 56 percent of those who have not yet had this experience want it. One in four respondents (25 percent) stated that they were also accompanied by a professional nurse. However, only 18 percent would consider pastoral or spiritual guidance, such as a pastor.

Fear of pain For the majority of respondents (86 percent), the most important thing for end-of-life care is the maximum possible relief from stressful symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath or nausea. And support for dealing with fear and grief is also considered by two thirds of those surveyed to be particularly relevant. In addition, more than one in two attaches great importance to the advice and support of caring relatives. In order for them to be able to stay at home until the end, it is very important that aids and medical devices are available. Generally, pain is the main concern associated with dying. For example, 78 percent of those surveyed stated that they were very afraid of dying from pain or other very stressful symptoms. And 57 percent are afraid to leave people alone.

Still doing things that make people happy According to the survey, it is also 94 percent of people important to be able to do things that make them happy even when they die. And 92 percent want to be able to decide for themselves about the measures in treatment and care. Of those who have ever cared for or accompanied a dying person, 72 percent rate the care of the dying person by doctors, nurses or the social environment as rather good or even very good. 42 percent of the respondents had stated that they had already cared for a dying person or accompanied them when they died, or that they are currently doing so. For the survey, the Forsa Institute asked 1007 people in October about their ideas about dying.

Living to the end in dignity and self-determination The Chairman of the ZQP, Dr. Ralf Suhr, in connection with the survey, points out the advantages and problems of palliative care in Germany: “Good palliative care enables people with serious limitations to live their lives in dignity and self-determination to the end. However, the seriously ill, the elderly often do not have sufficient access to appropriate support. Increasing and typical aging diseases such as B. Dementia is still too rarely seen as an area of ​​application for palliative care or is often considered too late in these cases. ”Good, needs-based palliative care, among other things, helps to alleviate stressful symptoms, reduce anxiety and improve quality of life improve, says Suhr. (sb)

Image: Dieter Schütz /

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