Many families may be surprised when a terminally ill (and usually calm) family member becomes restless or even agitated. The depth of such restlessness or agitation varies from patient to patient...More at the link.
Those who work with the dying know this type of restlessness or agitation almost immediately... Patients may be too weak to walk or stand, but they insist on getting up from the bed to the chair, or from the chair back to the bed. Whatever position they are in, they complain they are not comfortable and demand to change positions, even if pain is well managed. They may yell out using uncharacteristic language, sometimes angrily accusing others around them. They appear extremely agitated and may not be objective about their own condition...
If, and only if, other obvious causes of restlessness and agitation have already been eliminated, then the physician may directly order medications to reduce the restlessness and agitation...
Terminal agitation is a hospice crisis and meets the criteria for starting the continuous nursing care level of care.
17 December 2015
"Terminal agitation" in the dying person
Useful information from the Hospice Patients Alliance: