Choosing where to die


At this time, good nursing care, emotional support and the skills of people trained to help with your symptoms will be very important. It may be important to you to be surrounded by people and possessions which are dear to you. This can happen in a variety of places, not just at home.

Often the choice of where you will die is a compromise between what you want and what is possible.

If you are a carer reading this, it’s important that you don’t feel guilty if you encourage your partner or relative to die in a hospice, hospital or nursing home. If you have to make the decision to move them at a late stage, then this shouldn’t be seen as a failure, but rather because you want to make sure that your loved one gets the expert care that they need at this time.

Things to consider

This list of questions can help you to think about how and where you would like to die, so that you can have discussions with your relatives or friends and feel confident that you’ll be cared for in the way that you wish.

  • Where would you prefer to die? At home/in a hospice/in hospital/in a nursing home/in a family member’s home?
  • How would you like things around you to be as you are dying?
  • What information do you need about your condition and what may happen to you?
  • Are there particular treatments that you do not want to have?
  • Do you want to write an advance directive (advanced decision) or power of attorney? Further information is available in the section on legal issues.
  • How do you want to be treated by the people around you when you are dying?
  • Who would you like to have around you? Are there people you do not want around?
  • Are there issues that you would like to sort out with particular people?
  • Is there anything that is very important to you at that time?
  • Are there any spiritual practices or religious practices that you would like to be carried out? Who do you need to ask to make sure this happens?
  • Are there particular practices that you would like carried out at the time of death or once you have died?
  • Is there anything that you want done for the people that you love?
  • What funeral arrangements would you like to be made?
  • Who do you want to make the arrangements?
  • Do you want to be cremated or buried?
  • Have you made a will?

Last updated:
26 February 2020