Chapter

Palliative care and end-of-life care

Elizabeth L. Sampson and Karen Harrison Dening

in Mental Health and Care Homes

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199593637
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754722 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199593637.003.0021
Palliative care and end-of-life care

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Care homes are major providers of end-of-life care as a high proportion of their residents are frail and have multiple medical comorbidities, often with advanced dementia. Residents are often transferred to the acute hospital during their final illness and die there; they frequently receive poor quality palliative care. A major barrier to providing end-of-life care to frail older people is identifying those reaching the end stages of their life. The symptoms experienced by this group are common and can be relatively simple to manage, for example pain, constipation, and swallowing difficulties. Therefore, good generalist palliative care can be provided in care homes if staff are adequately trained. Several initiatives have been developed to improve end of life, such as the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) and Liverpool Care Pathway. These help staff to recognize that a resident is reaching the end of life and to plan for and provide better care.

Chapter.  5106 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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