Lynn Kuechle

Family Experience with End of Life (EOL)

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The complex and challenging family experience related to multiple issue surrounding life and death; such as legal, ethical, communication, family, decision-making and life-sustaining therapy issues. The nature of the patient’s illness, family context, and family and health care provider interactions influence decision making and family processes during this time of vulnerability (Wiegand, 2008). This experience can be overwhelming, devastating, and difficult for families (Wiegand, 2008; Tilden, Tolle, Nelson, Thompson, & Eggman, 1999). Encouraging family to dialogue about various individual perceptions of the illness experience and EOL decisions.


Further development needed

  • Share and compare each individual family members beliefs about end of life care and decisions
  • Invite family members to use techniques of storytelling to share life experiences  of the individual at end of life
  • Express understanding of families need for time to build consensus & acceptance surrounding EOL care
  • Provide opportunities for repetition of accurate and ongoing information to inform families
  • Give family members indicators to facilitate decision making
  • Examine family management of illness experience  and support for individual and family health
  • Identify family strengths and resources used in coping
  • Explore individual-family-nurse partnerships



(Weigand, 2008; Wiegand, Grant, Jooyoung, & Gergis, 2013)


A wholeness of the family unit with processes and functioning that supports family system (Krumwiede, Meiers, Bliesmer, Eggenberger, Earle,  Murray,  Harman, Andros, & Rydholm 2004; Anderson & Tomlinson, 1992).Explore family health (structure, functioning, processes)

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