In my graduation thesis I discuss the topic of death and dying in the home for the elderly Mengeš, the views and feelings of residents and employees, and the distress they experience in the home for the elderly. I researched their feelings about the deaths of residents, their view on death, the forms of help they use and the forms of help they need. I also relied on the necessary changes in homes for the elderly and in society in general, which would be needed to approach death closer to residents and employees. I decided to interview employees in a slightly smaller number than residents, because I think residents and their perspectives are the main ones. In a non-random, convenience sample, I chose them based on interest and willingness to talk, as the topic of the assignment requires it.
In the first part of the dissertation, I focus on the definitions of age, dying and death and the taboo of death. Then I focus on life in a home for the elderly and on their employees, where I write about the distress, the impact of the home of the elderly on the perception of death, and about life in it in general. I further focus on the help available in the home for the elderly to overcome the distress of dying or what help should be provided in the home for the elderly to help overcome the distress, both with employees and residents. Concerning this, I also refer to the role of palliative care, which represents a major and important step in helping the dying and their relatives. Finally, I write about the role of social work in homes for the elderly and focus on the area of assistance in dying and dying in a home.
In the second part of the thesis, I present the results of a qualitative study that shows that both residents and employees feel distressed at the time of dying and death, and they mention the fear of a long and painful dying more than the fear of death itself. Residents describe death as a part of life, and often also as salvation. Most of the employees feel uncomfortable when residents die, especially when residents close to them die. Nevertheless, everyone perceives death as salvation if the residents suffer. All employees report the impact of home for the elderly on them, while most residents feel that it has no impact on them. Those who think it has an impact, talk about negative ones. There are problems among both employees and residents due to shortages and superficial conversations about death and dying. Employees claim that they can get help through conversations, and most of them also have high value for home education. They expose the need for supervision and additional training on the topic of palliative care. They believe they would need a palliative team and a palliative room for residents. All residents have the opinion that they do not need help in accepting death and do not know what others need.