The rote administrative approach to death in senior housing: Using the other door

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Abstract

Understanding death in long-term care (LTC) facilities and the preexisting standards and policies pertaining to the death experience in LTC is essential. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 10 administrators of CCRCs and data analyzed through content analysis. Results of the current study reveal that administrators spoke of approaching death in their facility similar to any other procedural task, removal of the residents' bodies varied by community, and coordination responsibilities ranged from maintenance crews to management. Notification practices for residents and staff were also inconsistent. Differences existed in internal cultures on providing forms of respect. These practices were standard for some facilities while others were flexible to accommodate family requests. The majority of the sites did not offer additional training on death and dying for staff members. Findings suggest the need for consistency regarding how senior housing administrators approach the death of a resident and provide support for staff members.

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