Death and Dying in Old Age

SYA 7933

For more information contact: Dr. Monika Ardelt-

Class: Fridays 1:55-4:55 p.m. in 108 Ustler Hall
What constitutes dying well for older persons, and how can families and institutions make the dying experience less painful and more emotionally rewarding for the dying and those close to them? I define dying well as the maintenance of psychological well-being, even under adverse circumstances. Based on a theoretical orientation that assumes life-long psychosocial development and potential for psychological growth, the dying experience can be considered the last developmental milestone of a person’s life course. However, dying well in old age is still a relatively neglected topic. Unfortunately, dying well also appears to be the exception rather than the norm. Too many older people spend their last days or hours of their lives in places, such as hospitals or nursing homes, that may not spare any expenses to keep them alive but lack the human contact and compassion to facilitate a “good” death.