End of life symptoms

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When a person is approaching the end of life, he may display some or many of the following most common symptoms. These symptoms may indicate end of life is near. Just as one symptom may indicate death is approaching, all symptoms may or may not be present.


When a person is nearing death, a common symptom is for her to feel cool to the touch. You may find that her hands and feet or arms and legs are increasingly cooler in temperature. This indicates decreased circulation. Also, the skin may turn a bluish hue as a result.


You will find that the person who is nearing death will become more drowsy and spend less time awake. He may become difficult to wake and less responsive. This is partly due to the changing metabolism of the body.

Changes in Mental State

Confusion and disorientation are common symptoms, along with hallucinations. A person may become more withdrawn and/or restless as the end of life nears.

Bodily Fluids

Symptoms indicative of the end of life include loss of control of the bladder and bowels, also known as incontinence. This is due to the relaxing of the muscles in the pelvic region of the body.

Food and Fluid

Loss of appetite and desire for fluids may decrease. The body is no longer able to use the food and fluid as before. The body is working to conserve energy.


As a person nears the end of life, she may have difficulty breathing. Her breathing pattern may change, and you may hear gurgling or rattling sounds as her breaths slowly become farther apart.