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Dying in Hospital or Residential Settings

Most deaths in Ireland take place in hospitals and residential care settings.  When death is anticipated in care settings, there are a number of aspects of care and practical considerations that family members and carers can prepare for.

  • It can be helpful to identify the key staff who will be caring for the person who is imminently dying, and arrange to get regular health status updates. Equally, staff need to be aware of key family contacts and the best way to communicate with them
  • Privacy and dignity as someone is approaching death are paramount.  The need for a single room should be identified to key staff contacts.
  • Family members and close friends can benefit from having informal gathering spaces. Overnight accommodation may also be necessary.  This requirement should be made known to the key staff contact.
  • Flexibility with regard to visiting hours should also be enabled.
  • Key staff need to be made aware of the personal preferences and care plans of the individual who is dying.


The Hospice Friendly Hospital programme,  which seeks to put hospice principles into hospital practice to facilitate good deaths in all settings, has developed standards in relation to care for death and dying in hospitals.

Other Hospice Friendly Hospital publications can be viewed here.

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