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Understanding what happens during the dying process

This leaflet describes some of the physical and psychological changes that happen to people as they start to die.

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Each person’s experience of the last few days of life will be different and it can be difficult to predict exactly what will happen or how quickly any changes will occur.

These changes fall into four main categories:

• Less need for food and drink

• Withdrawing from the world

• Changes in breathing

• Changes which occur shortly before death.

This leaflet has been given to you to help explain about those changes but please ask the nurses or doctors, or if at home your Community Nurse or GP, if you have any further concerns or need more information.