Hospice Nurse Uses TikTok to Dispell Myths

When people imagine the end of life for themselves or a loved one, it is often hoped that death will come gently with family nearby and a sense of peace.  But as those who have experienced the loss of a close relative or beloved friend, death does not always step softly and there may be unexpected ups and downs on the journey. What many may not expect is to find comfort on TikTok.

According to a recent Newsweek article,  hospice nurse Julie McFadden has started sharing her years of experience and knowledge about the final days of life on TikTok to help ease fear and raise awareness about the end of life.  McFadden hopes that by normalizing discussions about death, more families will be prepared for what may come and be spared shock and devastation.

Hospice workers frequently see dying patients “rally” for a short period of time before their death.  This phenomenon can surprise and confuse families who may believe their loved one is getting better, only to be crushed when they pass on a few days later.  McFadden explains in an interview with Newsweek that about a third of hospice patients rally before death  – suddenly acting like their old selves, eating, talking, even sometimes joking around or getting up and walking. 

With more education about end-of-life, families can be prepared for a rally and understand what is happening so they can cherish the moment, knowing it will only be temporary.  Researchers are aware of the end of life rally or “last hurrah”, and studies have shown that about 84 percent of people who experience this sudden burst of activity and lucidity in their final days die within a week. 42 percent die that same day. 

A second common phenomenon among dying patients is seeing dead relatives, friends, and pets.  Leading up to their own death, many people report dreaming or having visions of people or animals they have lost, and in most cases it is comforting.  Some patients do keep the experience to themselves, worried it will sound crazy to others.  But if they and their families are educated and prepared for the phenomena common among dying patients, they are more like to talk openly and avoid fear or confusion.  

Check out more videos by Hospice Nurse Julie by following this link