Andy Ho, Senior Writer
Better to die a good death at home
Published on Apr 25, 2014 3:31 PM
MOST Singaporeans would choose to die at home if they could. A Lien Foundation-commissioned survey shows 77 per cent would prefer to do so. But official records show only 27 per cent dying at home last year, a figure that has changed little over the years.
Dying has moved from the warmth of one's bed to the cold comfort of one in hospital.
This is so even when the terminally ill can receive palliative care, which includes good pain control, at home. A team of doctors, nurses and social workers from a hospice will visit the patient at home once a week or more often to provide medical and emotional support. Such care can be had for $1,500 a year compared to hospital care, which is far more costly.
Dying at home means family members can come and go from the dying person's bedroom as the end draws near. So, the person is with his loved ones up to his last breath. But people are denied this when they die in hospital.
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There is also a conspiracy of silence about death, which is treated in the culture as something unspeakable.