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DAK Nursing Report: Three quarters of Germans die in hospitals or nursing homes
Most people have a clear idea of where they want to spend their last weeks, days and hours when the end of life is approaching. Many have the desire to say goodbye at home in a familiar environment. But the reality is usually different. "Two out of three Germans do not spend the last hours of their lives in the location they want"; one of the results of the current DAK nursing report.
Dying is often avoided in our society. People are reluctant to deal with their own death as long as it still seems far away. Nevertheless, most Germans have a clear idea of how they want to say goodbye. In the nursing report of the DAK-Gesundheit, 60 percent of those surveyed expressed the wish to die at home. However, this is rarely fulfilled.
Avoidable hospital admissions shortly before death
Most would like to say goodbye in their own four walls, but three quarters of Germans die in hospitals or nursing homes, according to the DAK. Often, hospitalization takes place shortly before death, which, according to the health insurance company, would be avoidable if the dying would rather like home care as an alternative.
Skepticism about care in clinics and homes
In the DAK report, seven out of ten respondents gave the reason for the desire for a death at home that the familiar environment makes dying more bearable and also brings more dignity. Indirectly, these results indicate "a pronounced skepticism about palliative care in clinics and homes", emphasizes the Chairman of the Board of DAK Health, Professor Herbert Rebscher.
Hardly anyone wants to die in a hospital or nursing home
In the DAK nursing report, only four percent of those surveyed stated that they imagined they would die in hospital, and only two percent named nursing homes as a place to say goodbye. According to the report, around 16 percent are undecided. Of those surveyed who care for relatives themselves and therefore already have nursing experience, 76 percent wished to die at home. In fact, a good 75 percent of all people in Germany die in hospitals or nursing homes, reports the DAK. This would mean that 69 percent of the people would not die where they want.
In the past, death was more common at home
In earlier generations, the care of dying relatives was quite common and more people could spend their last hours in familiar surroundings. Just over two decades ago, 55 percent died at home and only 6 percent in nursing homes, reports the DAK. In the past five years, however, only 32 percent of Germans had died at home and 22 percent had died in nursing homes. The proportion of those who died in hospitals has remained roughly the same at 40 percent in the past decades.
Most die alone in the nursing home and hospital
The DAK Nursing Report also comes to the conclusion that more than one in five respondents had relatives or friends whom they would have liked to have found another place to die. "Many specified home as their preferred location," reports the DAK. This was based on personal experience, according to which dying people in the hospital are often connected to machines and are alone at the time of death. A statement that, according to the DAK, is also confirmed in the actual figures. A fifth of people died alone in the hospital and even a third in nursing homes. At home just under every 14 died alone.
Who dares nursing until death?
A death in a familiar environment often requires that relatives and / or friends also provide support in the care. However, not all people trust themselves to do this. Only around one in three of those surveyed in the DAK. Nursing Report could imagine caring for someone until their death. At 41 percent, women were more likely to do this than men. But the answer was fundamentally dependent on employment, reports the DAK. Every second woman in part-time employment gave a positive answer here, but only every third woman in full-time employment. The respondents also see further support from relatives, volunteers and professional helpers as an important prerequisite for accomplishing such a task. (fp)