Deconstructing the Stages of Death

Deconstructing the Stages of Death

Every journey towards death is a story true to its own. While some die without warning, others have to wait for its agonizing claws to chomp down. Would it be helpful to know the many stages of death we, or our loved ones, go through? Will we be able to handle them better?

What Are the Stages of Death?

There are three main stages of death which include the initial stage, the intermediate stage, and the final stage. Every stage of death and dying is different and needs to be taken care of with attention and love. Symptoms of death may vary from person to person. Along with it, the individual stages of dying will differ too. Our best plan of action is to educate ourselves and act accordingly.

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The Early Stages of Dying

The early stage of dying will show symptoms of taking the initial steps of death. Here, a patient will reduce the amount of food and water intake as compared to what they used to consume. Their loss of appetite will soon start to turn into depression, while some may turn to temper and angry outbursts.

The patient will start to conserve energy and sleep often, seeming as though they’re always asleep. Soon enough, they will begin to isolate themselves and withdraw from people. If you find your loved one not talking as often or shying away from a conversation, you might want to get them checked and spend as much time as possible by their side.

The Intermediate Stage of Dying

In the second stage of death, you’ll find physical changes in the patient. At some point, a dying person becomes unresponsive, and it’s also possible that at such a stage, a person can neither speak nor move. Such symptoms are huge signs of the end-of-life stages.

This predominantly happens as the blood circulation decreases in the body and the internal organs don’t receive enough blood. Eventually leading to the patient’s hands and feet turning cold. In some cases, you might find that the complexion of the patient will change too. While some turn pale, others will turn darker. A sure-shot sign of unhealthy blood circulating the body.

One would assume keeping them warm is the solution and would load up on heating solutions but without professional help, this might be a challenge. The patient will not be able to tell hot from too hot. Leaving them in a physically uncomfortable position but being unable to communicate it.

The Last Stage of Dying

The last and final stage of death is the end-of-life stage where a person feels restlessness and is mostly unconscious. You can even note that the patient is finding it hard to breathe properly, and you can hear the rattle in their breath. Not only will their days seem more dazed and confused, but you will also find a glaze over their eyes.

Their heartbeat will turn irregular, leading to a drop in temperatures. In the last 24 hours of their final stage of dying, you will find that the skin on their knees, hands, and legs will turn a blue/purple hue. Eventually, their ragged breathing will turn to gasps and the breathing will stop entirely. If this happens in their sleep, it would be difficult to tell but if they’re conscious, they will drift in and out until they don’t.

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How Do People Deal With the Final Stages of Death?

When a person is in the final stage of death then they feel restless, they can even lose their senses, they will face problems in breathing and there will be changes in continence as well. Blood circulation reduces drastically in the final hours of a patient’s life and the internal organs don’t get enough blood. Affecting the functionality of their lungs, heart, kidneys, and other organs as well.

This is a painful stage. Not everyone will deal with it with grace and patience. More so in the elderly, the dying signs tend to turn them into stubborn children. So how do we, as loved ones, take care of dying family members?

Where Hospices Come In

Hospice workers are a professional, medically trained set of staff. They range from nurses and doctors to other healthcare providers. Hospice caregivers offer their services at hospice facilities or in the comfort of your own home.

Most hospice care is provided at homes staying with family members and taking care of patients like primary caregivers. However, hospice care is available in hospitals and nursing homes as well.

At a hospice, the stages of dying will be monitored and treated to consistently keep the patient in a comfortable state. As the patients go through their stages of death, the nurses and health care providers, well accustomed to the process, will cater to their every need. This includes psychological and spiritual aid. It’s no surprise that dying people want to leave with a guilt-free conscience and know that they’re going somewhere better, preferably. Hospices come equipped with healthcare providers to take care of this as well.


We know death is a painful process and in such hard times, one needs to be close to their loved ones giving them emotional support. However, we understand that this is the hard part. Handing over the responsibilities to someone else. But it’s recommended to enlist the help of our hospice professionals to care for your loved ones in their final stages of life. Don’t think of it as giving up, but consider this as seeking help. Which, believe it or not, you will need help now more than ever.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Spot the signs of a body shutting down and call for help. These dying symptoms are physically painful for the patient and you don’t want to regret not being able to give them a comfortable final few days before death takes them.

Our palliative care for all the stages of dying, at the All American Hospice, is second to none. Let our professionals handle the necessary and the patient can process their dying stages in a hospice with the right care and guidance. Call us today.

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