FondsGoetheanum: Altern und Sterben



‘Promoting warmth, security and protection.’




Closeness is caring and supportive

Accompanying the dying is a special aspect of professional care. In this field anthroposophical care has much to offer.

Christoph von Dach, Vice-president, Verein Anthroposophische Pflege in der Schweiz (APIS-SAES) and council member of the Forum für Sterbekultur.

The accompaniment of a dying person is every time different, and always unique. Anthroposophical care includes the inner orientation of the carer as well as its outer treatments.

From the outset the carer’s inner attitude – his image of man – plays a central role. Every treatment is carried out in the knowledge that death is not the end of life, but a crossing over into another, equally living world. From this perspective, human existence and development does not end with death, so it is vital to consider how the last stages of life are shaped and accompanied. From this point of view, too, the premature ending of life, such as assisted suicide organisations entail, or putting a dying human being into an artificial coma make no sense.

Anthroposophical care is shaped by attentiveness.

Outer treatments play an important role in day-to-day anthroposophical care; especially rhythmical massage as developed by Ita Wegman and Rudolf Hauschka and the use of special oils and compresses. Rhythmical massage promotes warmth, security and protection, which supporting existing healthy forces and rhythms. Numerous ailments associated with dying can be relieved in this way, including painful muscular tensions, breathing difficulties, constipation and fear or restlessness. Such treatments also bring relief and support to the aging person’s own process. For example, the relief of night-time anxiety and painful arm or bone swellings. These treatments contribute to the accompaniment of dying people in healing and positive ways.

Anthroposophical care is professional care. Trainings are provided for care personnel that culminate in the APIS-SAES Diploma.