A newly published study from the ELDER study led by Michal found that New Zealand Aged Residential Care Facilities rank highly in end of life care in comparison to six European countries. Great news! We also found that symptom management needs in the last week of life do not vary by diagnosis. However, sub-group analysis found residents with dementia and chronic illness experience higher physical distress over a longer period of time before death than residents with cancer.
This confirms the need to integrate advanced physical and cognitive frailty care with palliative care principles in the months and possibly years before residents’ die. Reciprocal learning is needed to ensure specialist palliative care providers become more skilled in gerontology and complex geriatric syndromes and Aged Care staff integrate palliative care principles into their practice. The oldest old make up an increasing majority of all deaths in resource rich countries. It is therefore essential that gerontology and palliative care specialists work collaboratively to ensure high quality end of life care Aged Residential Care Facilities.
References (for a full copy just drop us an email).
Boyd, M., Frey, R., Balmer, D., et al. 2019. End of life care for long-term care residents with dementia, chronic illness and cancer: prospective staff survey. BMC geriatrics19(1), p. 137.
Pivodic, L., Smets, T., Van den Noortgate, N., et al. 2018. Quality of dying and quality of end-of-life care of nursing home residents in six countries: An epidemiological study. Palliative Medicine32(10), pp. 1584–1595.