Relationship between birthday and deathday in the institutionalized elderly.
To identify a facet of death prediction with the subsequent prevention of premature deaths was the underlying motivator of this study. Previous samples from the general population give credence to individuals for their will to live until a significant event occurs. One such event is the birthday with an associated dip in the numbers of deaths in the quarter pre-birthday and a rise in the quarter post-birthday. The celebration of the birthday signifies a ceremony which unifies an individual to the society in which the person belongs. Because 20% of the population aged 55 and older were found to die while residing in a Nursing; home the death-dipâ€”death-rise phenomenon surrounding the birthday, and the Nursing; home as a promoter of an intact society were the specific interests of this investigator. The study focused on 173 elderly subjects who died while residing in one of two long term care facilities. Most subjects were Caucasian, Christian, and widowed, with a mean age of 83. In this descriptive ex post facto study the hypothesis, this stated that the death-day in the group of institutionalized, would occur with greater frequency in the quarter following the birthday, and was not supported. Findings in Facility 1 showed a death-dip in the quarter prior to the birthday. Both Facility 1 and Facility 2 had the greatest frequency of deaths occurring in the second quarter after the birthday. The dip-rise phenomenon surrounding the birthday was found for those subjects who had a previous acute hospital admission. There were fewer admissions (18%) to the hospital in the quarter pre-birthday with the greatest frequency of admissions (30%) in the quarter post-birthday. Another incidence was the greatest number of deaths occurring on Sunday with the speculation that in the long term care facility, Sunday as the most frequent day for visitation, was personally significant to most individuals. Implications for all care providers in the long term care facility to promote the celebration of individually significant events may contribute to the maintenance of dignity and control in the elderly patient as well as the prevention of premature death.
University of Utah;
University of Utah;
Relation-Is Version Of
Digital reproduction of “Relationship between birthday and deathday in the institutionalized elderly.”Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Print version of “Relationship between birthday and deathday in the institutionalized elderly.” available at J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collection. BF 21.5 1982 F48.