Managing Family Conflict at the End of Life

This article was updated on April 28, 2023. It discusses family conflict during the dying process.

A good death: the inside story of a hospice.

Death is not the exclusive purview of the old. And a big part of Good Grief!’s work is about helping support those who’ve had the experience of the death of someone way too young.

But death is more likely when you you’re old, one of the reasons we at Good Grief! are very committed to creating a dialogue with those who care for the elderly.

Logic says the elderly are the group who could most benefit from discussing it.

It’d be good if we had death education classes for the elderly and their families, the same way we have birth education classes for those soon to give birth.

Yet it doesn’t happen enough.

We collude in the pretence that death won’t happen to the elderly. As a result, such education is not particularly popular in carer and caring networks.

So it was refreshing and exciting when Danielle Robertson got in touch.

She’s the principal of DR Care Solutions: “Providing tailored care solutions for you, as a care recipient, a carer or a guardian, in the areas of aged care and disability care.”

She has a blog page too. She addresses the issue of dying in her postings, which is good to see.

She interviewed me for Managing Family Conflict – Advice to Carers.

As the title suggests, it’s about managing conflict, especially for family members caring for someone who is in or near the palliative stage of care.

“Barriers can continue at death, despite romantic notions that somehow an impending death will make people behave in a more heavenly way, she quotes from my book A Good Death: a compassionate and practical guide to prepare for the end of life.

Following it’s advice, Danielle explains: “If you personally have an outstanding conflict with a person having terminal illness and you want a personal connection with them before they die, resolve the conflict as soon as possible, before their condition worsens and certainly before they are placed in a hospital or hospice ward.”

To find out more, go to Danielle’s blog

Also read: Eleven Steps to Prepare for a Good death – in Ordinary Times

And: Patients Need the Truth at the End, says Jeanette

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