Working can be fatal as workplace fatalities show. 42% of all workplace fatalities are vehicular related, 20% involve some kind of violence, 15% are caused by machinery or falling objects, and 10% are associated with environmental contamination, with 10% also being attributed to falls and only 3% of workplace fatalities being caused by fires or explosions.
As a person reaches advanced age the cause of death becomes increasingly due to a combination of things and becomes more difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of death thus autopsy is done less frequently the older a person becomes; unless of course foul play is suspected.
Lifestyle and behavior can greatly contribute to cause of death. Lifestyle activities such as tobacco usage, poor diet and lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, microbial agents, toxic agents, firearms usage or exposure, sexual behavior, motor vehicle accidents and the illicit use of drugs.
Every community will have choices, even if the only choice is the hospital or figuring out your own homecare if the area is so remote as not to have established hospice and homecare facilities. Support groups can be located locally or over the Internet. Even if there is little in the way of established care in your community there are still resources available through your local library and by way of connecting to organizations through the Internet.
There are also individuals who commit suicide with no seemingly signs of suicide because they hide their feelings of depression due to social stigma or because of mental illness. Men especially feel that if they admit to how sad or depressed they are feeling they will be perceived by others to be weak. They learn to hide their feelings.
When someone exhibits signs that they may be thinking about what it would be like to die by suicide, now is the time to take action, not later when the chance to investigate may seem more appealing. Tomorrow may be too late.
The average burial in the U.S. puts approximately 827.060 gallons of embalming fluid into the soil. Embalming fluid contains formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol. Cremations are not much better when it comes to polluting the earth. Cremation puts harmful gasses into the air including dioxins, hydrochloric acid, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Death can be harmful to our environment as a final insult to us.
The physical aspects of the body dying will involve breathing pattern changes that are to be expected and are a normal process of the respiratory system shutting down.
Another physical aspect will happen due to the circulation slowing down and that is that the individual's extremities (hands, arms, legs, and feet) will become cool to the touch, may become dark in color on the underside or turn bluish or splotchy purple. They may become cold or even feel hot. Blankets will bring comfort but stay away from electric blankets or electrical heating pads.
The dying process is unique because no two individuals will go through it in quite the same identical manner. Even those who are dying from the same illness at the same time will have differing conditions as to degree of pain felt, or the intensity of other symptoms. The speed or arrival at the “final stage” and even how long the duration of the final stage will be can also be different. It may even be that in the unfortunate occurrence of when family members and other loved ones are the same for two different dying individuals the relationships experienced with each member will be different. Just the surroundings or situation leading up to the dying process might also be different as the cause of death can be different. The cause of death may be due to illness, accidental injury, intentional injury by another party, or it can be suicidal in nature. Age of the dying individual will also make a difference in the handling of the dying process.
The body will not need as much food or liquids during the final stage of death so there will be a decrease in the eating and drinking habits of the individual. The reason for the decrease in need is because the body is trying to conserve energy and the shutting down process mean less function so less food is required.
There is an increased risk for choking when the individual does eat because of confusion due to the mental status or because of physical changes that may make swallowing more difficult when taking fluids or solids. The accompanying sensation of dryness can be relieved by giving frequent and proper mouth care. Sips of fluids are better than long drinks.
An individual should never be forced to drink or eat during this last stage of dying.
Many individuals have the fear of being falsely diagnosed as being dead when they are in fact still alive. Many movies and soap opera scenes have been written around this fear. To prevent this occurring in reality first responders are usually not authorized to declare patients as being "dead", and physicians and EMTs have protocol to follow in order to make the declaration of death to ensure that false declarations of death are avoided at all cost.
The questions that are on your mind may be different from those on your neighbor’s mind when it comes to what it is like to die. Most of us center our thoughts on the physical part of dying – what it is like to have our breathing and heart stop. Most of us probably wish that we would have a painless, quick and non-violent death. If you took a poll, the majority of us would probably say we want to die in our sleep. Questions about death and the dying process are good because they help to prepare us not only for our death but the death of those around us who truly matter to us; like parents, other family members, co-workers, and neighbors, even political or cultural leaders.