When it comes to end-of-life care, Taiwan has made significant progress in recent years. The government has implemented policies and programs to improve palliative care and ensure that patients with life-limiting illnesses receive high-quality care and support. Additionally, Taiwan has a rich culture with unique customs and practices surrounding death and mourning. In this article, we will explore hospice care in Taiwan, as well as local customs and practices for end-of-life care and what to do when someone dies.
Overview of Hospices in Taiwan
Hospice care in Taiwan has seen significant growth in recent years. In 2000, the Taiwan government passed the Hospice Palliative Care Act, which recognized the importance of palliative care for terminally ill patients. The act established a legal framework for hospice care, including provisions for insurance coverage for palliative care services. Since then, the number of hospice care facilities and services has steadily increased.
In Taiwan, hospice care is typically provided by hospice units within hospitals, as well as independent hospice centers. Hospice care is focused on managing symptoms, relieving pain, and improving the quality of life for patients and their families. Hospice teams typically include physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers who work together to provide comprehensive care and support.
Local Customs and Practices When Someone Dies in Taiwan
Taiwan has a rich culture with unique customs and practices surrounding death and mourning. Here are some local customs and practices you should be aware of:
Ancestral worship is an important part of Taiwanese culture, and it is believed that the deceased continue to exist in spirit form after death. Families often hold ancestral worship ceremonies after a loved one passes away, offering food and other offerings to the deceased.
Funerals in Taiwan typically follow Buddhist, Taoist, or Confucian customs. It is common for family members to wear white or black clothing as a symbol of mourning. Many families also hire professional mourners to express their grief and sadness during the funeral service.
The mourning period in Taiwan typically lasts for 49 days after the death of a loved one. During this time, family members may refrain from social activities and wear black clothing as a symbol of mourning. Some families also observe a longer mourning period of 100 days.
What to Do When Someone Dies in Taiwan
If someone passes away in Taiwan, there are several steps you should take. Here is a list of what to do when someone dies in Taiwan:
Contact a Funeral Home: The first step is to contact a funeral home to make arrangements for the deceased. Funeral homes can help with transportation, embalming, cremation, and other funeral services.
Register the Death: The death must be registered with the local household registration office within three days of the death. The funeral home can assist with this process.
Arrange the Funeral: The funeral can be held at a funeral home or at the family’s home. The funeral typically takes place within three to seven days after the death.
Notify Family and Friends: Family and friends should be notified of the death as soon as possible. It is also common to place an obituary in a local newspaper.
Observe the Mourning Period: During the mourning period, family members may refrain from social activities and wear black clothing as a symbol of mourning.
Hold Ancestral Worship Ceremonies: Families may hold ancestral worship ceremonies after the funeral to honor the deceased.
Settle the Estate: If the deceased had a will, the executor of the estate should take steps to settle the estate, including distributing assets to beneficiaries and paying any outstanding debts or taxes.
In conclusion, end-of-life care in Taiwan has come a long way in recent years, thanks to government policies and programs aimed at improving palliative care. Hospice care is widely available and focused on managing symptoms, relieving pain, and improving the quality of life for patients and their families. Taiwan also has a rich culture with unique customs and practices surrounding death and mourning, including ancestral worship and funeral customs. When someone dies in Taiwan, it is important to follow the appropriate steps, such as contacting a funeral home and registering the death with the local household registration office, as well as observing the mourning period and holding ancestral worship ceremonies. By understanding these customs and practices, families and loved ones can honor their deceased and find comfort during this difficult time.