Physical Needs for dying people.
- Vision. Vision blurs and gradually fails. The room should be well lit. However, avoid bright lights and
glares. Good eye care is needed.
- Hearing. Hearing is noe of the last fucntions lost.
- Speach. Speech becomes difficult. It may be hard to understand the person. Sometimes the person
cannot speak. Anticipate his or her needs. Ask "yes" or "no" questions. Do not ask questions with
long answers. Despite speech problems, you must talk to the person.
- Mouth. Routine mouth care is given if the person can eat and drink. Frequient oral care is given as
death nears and when taking oral fluids is diffidcult. Oral hygiene is needed if mucus collects in the
mouth and the person cannot swallow.
- Nose. Crusting and irritation of the nostrils can occur. Nasal secretions , an oxygen cannula, a;nd a
nasogastric (NG) tube are common causes. Carefully clean the nose. Apply lubricant as directed by the
nurse and the care plan.
- Circulation. Circulation fails and body temperature rises as death nears. The skin is cool, pale, and
mottled (blotchy). Perspiration increases. Skin care, bathing, and preventing pressure ulcers are
necessary. Linens and gowns are changed whenever needed. Despite cool skin, only light bed
coverings are needed. Blankets may make the person feel too warm and cause restlessness.
- Elimination. Urinary and fecal incontinence may occur. Constipation and urinary retention are common.
Enemas and dcatheres may be needed.
- Comfort and positioning. Frequent position changes and dupportive devices also promote comfort.
Semi-Fowler's position is usually and gently. Semi-Fowler's postion is usually best for breathing
- The person's room. The person's room should be pleasant, well lit, and well ventilated.