Hospice nurse reveals her best advice for ensuring a peaceful death (2024)

If you're good at planning then it just may lead to a more peaceful death, according to an expert.

Julie McFadden, from Los Angeles, who isknown on social media as Hospice Nurse Julie, regularly uploads videos about death and what happens at the end of someone's life.

In a recent clip, she shared what you can do in order to have a peaceful passing - and she says it comes down to preparedness and acceptance.

'That's one of the biggest things I see,' she explained. 'People who plan for death will tend to have a more peaceful death than those who do not plan for death.'

'A prepared death versus a non-prepared death - that's the one thing that I've seen in all of my patients,' she explained.

Hospice Nurse Julie McFadden, from Los Angeles, says if you're good at planning then it just may lead to a more peaceful death

Julie said she noticed the patients that were 'willing to talk about the hard stuff' had a more peaceful death.

'[That means] willing to ask the questionsabout, "how long do you think I have? What can I expect? What should I do before I die to make this easier for my family?"' she listed.

From her experience as a hospice nurse, when those questions were asked people have a better life and a more peaceful end.

Julie shared a story of when a patient of hers died peacefully surrounded by his family.

She explained that the patient was in hospice and had started to decline around 20 minutes after she arrived.

'He started having weirdchanges in breathing, so this was a sudden decline and it looked like he may suddenly die,' she recalled, adding the abrupt change was 'uncommon actually' in hospice care.

'What I noticed was because this family - and him - were so prepared, instead of the family [being] chaotic and reacting in an emotional way - which is very normal - they flipped along right with him,' she explained.

'[They laid] in bed with him. They understood immediately what was happening. They didn't panic,' she shared.

From her experience as a hospice nurse, when the difficult questions about death are asked people have a better life and a more peaceful death end of story

Julie said it was important for people to remember that death doesn't have to be chaotic, but it do involve having to have some uncomfortable conversations with loved ones

READ MORE: Hospice nurse candidly reveals what can make a prolonged death 'messy'

Julie said the man was surrounded by his loving family and it was an overwhelmingly emotional experience.

'It makes me cry every time I think about it - that vision of them all being able to understand what was happening, even though it was a change they didn't want,' she explained.

Julie noted that the experience could have been 'so different' if the family wasn't prepared for it.

'Because it was so soon and so quick and so sudden but because they were willing and able and ready, it was this beautiful moment of love,' she explained.

'By the end of that visit he died, so he went from kind of looking okay to dying which is hard - but that family made it a beautiful moment,' she said.

Julie explained it was important for people to remember that death doesn't have to be chaotic, but it does involve having to have some uncomfortable conversations with friends and family.

'Talk to your loved ones,' she urged. 'Everyone talk to each other about what they want at the end of life - specifically, do you want to be at home? Do you want extensive treatment? What happens if you have a cardiac arrest?' she listed.

'I mean very, very, detailed things and it's going to change depending on what age you are, but at least have a general understanding of what you want now,' she suggested.

Julie said having these discussions will help families when a loved one does pass.

'You really need toget clear with your family and friends about what you truly want so they know,' she pointed out.

She also suggested writing out an obituary or telling people what they want in it and even detailing what the person wants their funeral to look like so the family doesn't have to 'doguesswork.'

From a medical point of view, Julie said not to underestimate keeping a strict medication routine, as it will help manage symptoms.

The nurse finished her passionate video by encouraging everyone to talk to their loved ones and to think about the planning for their deaths (stock image)

'If symptoms aren't being managed you need to call your hospice company so they can help you,' she suggested, adding changing the hospice care provider if it doesn't suit the needs of the person in question.

Although it may be difficult to accept, Julie revealed she sees a huge difference in those who have accepted the change and that let people around them help and to make peace with 'living in the grey.'

'People who are [able to accept change] willingly, and are able to do that always, always, always live better and die better,' she explained.

She shared a cautionary tale of people who are more resistant to change.

'Always the patients who are unwilling to accept help, unwilling to accept that they have physical limitations now always have issues always, have falls, get hurt, end up having to leave their home,' she bluntly told viewers. 'It gets messy.'

The nurse shared tips for people who are battling a terminal disease or for the loved ones of someone in that position.

'If you're not on hospice yet but you do have some kind of disease that you are getting treatment for, listen to your body,' she urged.

'If you are the loved one of someone who has this, let them listen to their body,' she advised.

'If they're telling you they don't want to eat, don't make them eat. If they're telling you they want to sleep, let them sleep.

'Aslong as they are clean that's the only thing I say, as long as they're clean they can do whatever they want, so they want to sleep let them sleep - don't make them do anything. Allow them to listen to their body,' Julie said.

The nurse finished her passionate video by encouraging everyone to talk to their loved ones and to think about planning for their deaths.

'We plan for everything but we never talk about our plan for the one thing that's going to happen to all of us which is dying,' she points out.

'We don't plan it, we don't talk about it, we don't act like it's happening. We live in this world of like "it's not never going to happen to any of us and then when it does we are shocked,"' she continued.

'So let's not do that anymore... This is your call to actionto start thinking about,' she concluded.

Hospice nurse reveals her best advice for ensuring a peaceful death (2024)
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