Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Saudi Arabia
Title: Adapting to death, dying and bereavement of geriatric palliative and end of life care
Biography: Mohammed Abduh Alshaqi
Our fear of death and the loss of a loved one are two of the most monumental emotional challenges of human existence. This anxiety is usually suppressed and is only exposed when the reality of a possible death is confronted. Fear of death stems from different sources, for example the thought of our non-existence and the fear of the unknown of what lies beyond death. Palliative care has recognized the power of this suffering and is concerned with helping people cope and adapt. This is incorporated into a philosophy of care that has resulted in the principles of palliative care. In industrialized and technological societies, death has been removed from the family home into institutions with care provided by professionals. This has resulted in a lack of familiarity with the dying process, which may contribute to a fear of death and dying within the society. Death, dying and bereavement challenges the fundamental values and meaning of the human experience. Such a threat has the potential to provoke considerable distress and has therefore interested health professionals. It is important while providing care that we do not lose sight of the individual patient involved and the individuality of each experience of dying, death and bereavement. This presentation will review how to improve the understanding of the processes involved, the damaging consequences that can occur and the role of health professionals in caring for the dying and the bereaved.