Religious Experiences of Older People Receiving Palliative Care at Home
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CitationSaarelainen, Suvi-Maria. Vähäkangas, Auli. Anttonen, Mirja Sisko. (2020). Religious Experiences of Older People Receiving Palliative Care at Home. Religions, 11 (7) , 336. 10.3390/rel11070336.
Increasingly more older people are now being cared for in their own homes. Furthermore, it has become more common that people stay at home to receive end-of-life care. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), we analyzed the religious experiences of older people (aged 65+). We answered these questions: What kind of religious experiences do older people have when death is approaching? What does this tell us about their religious coping? As IPA is based on the in-depth analysis of small amounts of homogenous data, we analyzed five interviews with older people who were dying. We identified three main themes. First, religious experiences are relational, that is, deeply rooted in personal relationships. Second, religious experiences are real and can provide both struggles and comfort in the last stage of life. Third, the experience of encountering one’s mortality and planning for one’s death was calming; while many had unclear views on the afterlife, the idea of continuing bonds after death was comforting. More open discussion on religious matters, death, and dying would be welcomed as part of home-based end-of-life care.
Subjectspalliative care older people home care religious experiences interpretative phenomenological analysis
Link to the original itemhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel11070336
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