Palliative Care for Older People: Better Practices

by Agis D. Tsouros; Hristina Petkova; Irene J. Higginson; Massimo Costantini; Sue Hall

May 27, 2011
Populations around the world are ageing, and more people are living with the effects of serious chronic illness towards the end of life. Meeting their needs presents a public health challenge. This publication aims to provide examples of better palliative care practices for older people to help those involved in planning and supporting care-oriented services most appropriately and effectively. Examples have been identi?ed from literature searches and from an international call for examples through various organizations, including the European Association of Palliative Care and the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society. Some examples consider how to improve aspects within the whole health system; speci?c smaller examples consider how to improve palliative care education, support in the community, in hospitals or for speci?c groups of people, such as people in nursing homes and people with dementia and their families.

Some examples await rigorous evaluation of effectiveness, and more research is needed in this ? eld, especially the cost -- effectiveness and generalizability of these initiatives. This publication takes both an individual person and a health systems approach, focusing on examples from or relevant to the WHO European Region. The publication is intended for policy makers, decision-makers, planners and multidisciplinary professionals concerned with the care and quality of life of older people.
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