Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Existential psychology, Attachment behavior, Hospice care, Death-Psychological aspects, Older people-Psychology, Terminally ill-Mental health services, Social work with the terminally ill, Existential theory, Attachment theory, Hospice, End of life, Elderly, Good death


In this exploration I will utilize the theory of Attachment as well as Existential Theory to assist in expounding upon available paths to assist elderly individuals in their journey at the end of life. I will present an overview of the two selected theories of Attachment as well as Existential Theory and argue that such approaches honor the venerable end stage of life. A discussion pertaining to these two theories will shed light on the question of how a clinician can seek to improve the quality of life for an individual during the end of life process and therefore assist in the experience of a good death. The intent of this endeavor is to lend attention to a population that is often neglected as well as forgotten and additionally explore the phenomenon of death, which is also a typically ignored experience, and considered to be taboo within western society.




iv, 135 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 123-135)