Meaningful Deaths: Home Health Workers’ Mediation of Deaths at Home

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


After several generations in the United States in which medicalized deaths have become normal, more people are seeking to die at home. However, home deaths lead to emotional uncertainty and practical confusion, in which kin lack a cultural script. In this article I draw on interviews with patients’ kin and their African immigrant home health workers, and show that the care workers helped create a more meaningful death through their knowledge of death, familiarity with the physical processes of death, and their presence, which they used to create pathways for their patients and their kin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-108
Number of pages13
JournalMedical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology


  • Aging
  • care
  • death
  • home care
  • kin-scription
  • kin-time

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Meaningful Deaths: Home Health Workers’ Mediation of Deaths at Home'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this