Preparing for a Good Death Experience​

Good Death

What is a “Good Death”?

The Institute of Medicine defines a Good Death as “one that is free from avoidable distress and suffering for patients, families, and caregivers in general accordance with the patients’ and families’ wishes; and reasonably consistent with clinical, cultural, and ethical standards.”

Multiple experts have suggested that physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and existential experiences, in addition to life closure and death preparation, all contribute to the concept of a “Good Death.”

A “Good Death” is often considered to be one that is peaceful, pain-free, and in the presence of loved ones. It can also refer to dying with dignity in a way that respects the individual’s wishes and values. 

A “Good Death” can also be defined as a combination of concepts and perspectives. Everyone involved in a person’s end-of-life journey will have a different experience. From the patient’s perspective, a “Good Death” can consist of the desire not to burden family and friends, the desire to die with dignity, and the desire to have pain and symptom management. 

For family members, perspectives can include preparing their loved one for caregiving and providing guidance on managing their end-of-life. In addition, family dynamics can facilitate or hinder the delivery of end-of-life care in situations with multiple family members and caregivers.

If there is no plan for end-of-life, family members and caregivers may experience strain or unnecessary hardship due to tension and emotional factors. Conversely, a well-planned end-of-life care plan can protect your loved ones from needless suffering throughout the grieving process.

Some people prefer hospice or palliative care to manage symptoms and provide comfort at the end of life. For healthcare providers, a “Good Death” may mean effectively dealing with the dynamics within the family unit while administering care.

Ultimately, a “Good Death” is a highly personal and subjective concept that can vary significantly from person to person. And yes, it is possible. Therefore, it is important to be prepared and have open and honest conversations with loved ones and healthcare providers to ensure that end-of-life wishes are communicated and respected. 

A “Good Death Experience” is our final gift to our loved ones.

What is the “Good Death Experiment”?

Through The “Good Death Experiment”, we educate people about the importance of taking the initiative and preparing for their end-of-life experience by being proactive instead of reactive. The “Good Death Experiment” is our unique way of preparing you for a Good Death Experience.

We utilize the Good Death Experience Survey, “GDE Survey” to assist our clients and their loved ones in assessing their preparation for a Good Death Experience.

We conduct this experiment to resolve uncertainty. Take the 5-Minute GDE Survey to determine the level of your preparedness for a “Good Death Experience.

In reality, we cannot guarantee a Good Death Experience. However, we can encourage one another to create a plan, discuss it, and be prepared so our wishes can be respected and fulfilled. This way, we can provide a good death experience for ourselves and our loved ones.

Many of us are familiar with losing a friend or loved one. Unfortunately, the grieving process may have been interrupted and adversely affected due to unpreparedness, lack of detailed planning or caregiver support, and the absence of financial resources.

If this situation is too familiar, you may wish to prepare a “Good Death Experience Plan” GDE Plan.

Start by joining the “Good Death Experiment.” Take the GDE Survey.

What is the "Good Death Experience"?

A Good Death Experience (GDE) is facilitated by focusing on preparing for the end-of-life journey and being attuned to and understanding the emotions, perspectives, and experiences of those around us.

This compassionate approach creates a supportive, respectful end-of-life experience and allows for a peaceful and dignified transition. Everyone involved in our end-of-life journey should make a conscious effort to have compassion, respect, and understanding of another’s death experience so that we all may support and encourage one another in pursuit of a Good Death. 

Having a Good Death Experience Plan improves our chances of a Good Death.

The critical components of a Good Death Experience Plan or GDE Plan:

GET PLAN: A GDE Plan should include a set of goals that will assist our loved ones in assuring that our end-of-life wishes are respected. In addition, it shows that we are proactive, mindful, and considerate of the needs of our loved ones, healthcare providers, and others on our end-of-life journey.

DISCUSS PLAN: A GDE Plan should be shared and communicated with our family, friends, and loved ones. Having our loved ones aware of our end-of-life wishes and our GDE Plan is critical to ensuring a good death experience.

EXECUTE PLAN: A GDE Plan requires effective execution, which includes ensuring that everyone is prepared in an emergency or a call to action. The appointed persons in our GDE Plan should be able to identify what they need to do on our behalf at any moment.

Things to Remember About Your GDE Plan:

Review your GDE Plan annually and ensure your healthcare providers, beneficiaries, loved ones, and other appointed persons in your GDE Plan contact information are always up to date. 

If you have not formally elected a Healthcare Agent, consider asking a loved one to be your Healthcare/End-of-Life Agent (EOLA).

It is your EOLA, who is an active person n the GDE Plan and who knows about it, who is responsible for advocating for you and supporting your end-of-life wishes for a good death experience for everyone involved.

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