Sunday, January 1, 2023

End-of-Life Dreams and Visions (ELDVs)


Research  reported  in the American Journal of Hospice Palliative Care  concludes that positive general attitudes toward end-of-life dreams, visions, (ELDV) and positive perceptions are correlated with better bereavement outcomes. Patient and family education on ELDVs that focuses on awareness and understanding of ELDVs may enhance clinical outcomes for families and patients.

The following is a true nursing home experience that my hospice patient shared with me about an unusual trip she said she had taken the day before I visited her:

“What did you do today?” I asked Rose after feeding her.

“Me? I’ve been spending time with my people. I enjoyed myself a lot.”

“Hey, that’s great. Did your relatives drive in from Chicago?”

“No, I went to heaven. It’s the nicest place, all clean and bright with beautiful sights to see everywhere. I saw my family and plenty of my friends. They all wore long white gowns.”

“Wow! I guess that’s a place you’ll want to visit again.”

“Oh, I’ll definitely be going back. I’m planning to go stay there when I die. I’ll see if I can help you get in, too.”

“Thanks. I would really appreciate that.”

“How old did you tell me I was?”

“You’re ninety-nine, and you’ll be one hundred years old on your next birthday.”

“A hundred years old is too old. I don’t think I want to be that old.”

“There are three other ladies in this nursing home who are older than that. One is a hundred five. We talked to her last week during your wheelchair ride.”

“How much longer will it be before I make a hundred? I don’t know if I want to wait too much longer.”

“It’s only one more month. I remember you said you had spiritual talks with your minister. If you decide to wait, I’ll get you a big balloon that looks like a birthday cake.”

“I guess I could wait. Yes, I think I will wait. That way I can celebrate my hundredth birthday. When I do get to heaven, I can tell everybody I lived to be over one hundred.”

And that’s exactly what she did.

Frances Shani Parker is an eldercare consultant, author, speaker, workshop facilitator, hospice volunteer, and retired public school principal. She serves on the board of the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Her book Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes gives a groundbreaking account of her insights and experiences with hospice, nursing homes, caregiving, dementia, death, bereavement, and service-learning. Visit her in cyberspace at

No comments:

Post a Comment