For some seniors, family support increases end-of-life fears

Share this article:

Some groups of elderly people actually report being more afraid of death if they have a strong family network of caregivers, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University College London interviewed roughly 1,000 people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds—including Indian, Pakistani, black Caribbean, Chinese and white—for their study of attitudes toward death. They discovered that nearly one-third of ethnic minorities interviewed lived in a household with four or more adults and two-thirds had a large family network that could help with caregiving. Only 1% of whites lived in such a household while roughly one-third had a family caregiving network, according to the study.

Ethnic minority groups were much more likely to report extreme fears of death in the four sampled categories: fear of the mode of death, fear of not being able to control their death, fear of dying itself, and fear of being in pain. In three out of the four categories, having a large family network was associated with higher reports of fear of death among the ethnic groups.

“Practitioners should not assume that fears about dying are the same in different social groups, or that extensive family support is protective against such anxiety,” researchers concluded. Their report was published online in the March 30 edition of the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do not readmit more patients to hospitals, researchers find

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do ...

Low-quality and high-quality skilled nursing facilities readmit about the same proportion of residents to hospitals, suggest research findings recently published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study ...

Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare ...