Dignified end of life: Shared guidelines for nursing homes in Western Uusimaa

30.11.2021 9.52

What does a dignified end of life mean? The municipalities in Western Uusimaa have prepared shared guidelines for nursing homes. The new guidelines also make space for the personal wishes of each resident. The Dignified End of Life handbook is intended for nursing home staff.

Project Manager Paula Niittymäki says that this matter is of utmost importance to the personnel. 

“Death is deeply linked to personal values, and everyone wants end-of-life care to be as good as possible. We want to ensure that everyone has a dignified end of life that meets their own wishes,” she states.  

Listening to the wishes of a dying person is essential  

It is essential that the staff ask the nursing home residents themselves about death as it approaches and the related values and wishes, instead of acting on assumptions. The residents’ close family and friends should also be looked after. It is the job of the professionals to find out the residents’ and their loved ones’ wishes by listening to them in a respectful manner.  

“Death affects us all. This is why I’d like to encourage everyone to think about arrangements such as their living will, which can include completely ordinary wishes about everyday life. Some may wish to have red wine and chocolate every Friday, others may wish for something completely different. Then again, some people do not want to talk about death at all, which is equally acceptable.”  

Handbook supports the competencies and coping of nursing home staff 

The handbook supports the competencies of geriatric care professionals in terms of palliative and end-of-life care. The aim is also to organise training for the staff about this topic.  

“Professionals have to be able to face difficult situations. This way, they can also discuss things with the customers and the customers’ close relatives better. I hope the handbook will bring matters related to death closer to people in a more understandable form so that they do not feel as frightening,” Niittymäki says.  

Learn more about the materials 

The Dignified End of Life handbook for nursing home staff in Western Uusimaa

In Finnish(external link)

In Swedish(external link)


Western Uusimaa wellbeing services county

  • Wellbeing Services County