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Keywords

end of life, presence, Skype

 

Authors

  1. Flanagan, Jane PhD, ANP-BC
  2. DeSanto-Madeya, Susan PhD, RN, CNS
  3. Simms, Benjamin MSN, AGPCNP-BC

Abstract

Family presence at the end of life can be challenging in that not all people who wish to be physically present can always be there with the dying person. Social media, specifically Skype, are technology that allows persons who wish to be present to be available via videophone technology. Although this technology is widely used in business and social interactions, its use with dying persons, their families, and loved ones is poorly understood. Case studies are used to report the experience of 2 different families who used social media, specifically Skype, during the dying experience. In each case, family members who would not have otherwise been able to be present at the bedside during the dying process reported being able to actively participate in the experience. For these 2 families, the utilization of Skype at the bedside facilitated a sense of closure around the dying experience.