End-of-Life Care of Older Adults
Serious illness and end-of-life issues are challenging areas for clinicians caring for older adults. Patients may benefit from services offered by hospice, which cares for patients in the last 6 months of life, as well as palliative care, which offers an interdisciplinary approach focused on symptom management and supportive care for patients with serious illness of any time course. This chapter discusses indications for when it is appropriate to consider palliative care or hospice referrals for geriatric patients, as well as introducing prognostication tools available to guide these decisions and conversations. Some patients at the end of life may suffer from symptoms amenable to palliation, and others may decide to forgo or withdraw potentially life-prolonging treatments depending on their goals of care. The ethical challenge of requests for hastening death is discussed in addition to the ethical aspects of physician aid-in-dying legislation.
KeywordsPalliative care Hospice Prognostication End of life Death and dying
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