What is dying like?


Quick Answer

The human body undergoes many physical changes as it prepares for death. The process of dying is also an emotional one, reports nonprofit organization, Hospice Net. Everyone deals with their impending death differently, so not everyone experiences the same emotions.

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Full Answer

As the body starts to shut down, it decreases circulation to the extremities and sends most of the blood to the vital organs. This causes the hands, feet and limbs to feel cooler than normal. In some people, the skin also changes color as a result of decreased circulation. The body's metabolism also starts to change, resulting in disorientation or changes in the way the dying person communicates. Someone who is dying is likely to sleep more than usual or seem confused about details such as time and place, according to Hospice Net.

Incontinence and chest congestion are also common in people who have reached the end of their lives. Loss of bladder or bowel control occurs as the muscles in the abdomen and pelvis start to relax. Decreased fluid intake makes it difficult to cough up mucus, resulting in a gurgling sound in the chest. Reduced food and fluid intake, restlessness, decreased urine output and changes in a person's breathing patterns are also common during the process of dying. A dying person's emotional needs change during this process. It is not unusual for a person to withdraw from others or stop socializing just before death. Some people report having visions of people who are already deceased. These visions are not hallucinations, but a way of detaching from life, explains Hospice Net.

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