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Palliation at End of Life

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Optimizing Pharmacotherapy in Older Patients

Part of the book series: Practical Issues in Geriatrics ((PIG))

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Abstract

Palliative care is a holistic approach to the care of patients living with advanced illness. For older patients, palliative care integrates with and complements geriatric care especially for those with multi-morbidity and complex physical and psychosocial needs.

The use of drugs to alleviate symptoms in older patients is based on the principles of (1) impeccable assessment to identify the cause and to guide the choice of appropriate medication and (2) regular review to monitor effect. Careful communication with the patient, family and clinical team enables the development of a care plan that is based on individual patient needs and congruent with individual patient wishes and priorities.

Judicious use of medications can be used to successfully manage common symptoms at end of life including pain, nausea and vomiting; breathlessness; respiratory secretions; and agitation. Advice should be sought from the specialist palliative care team for severe symptoms not responding to initial therapy.

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Correspondence to Joanne Droney .

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Droney, J., Wright, P., Awoyemi, D. (2023). Palliation at End of Life. In: Cherubini, A., Mangoni, A.A., O’Mahony, D., Petrovic, M. (eds) Optimizing Pharmacotherapy in Older Patients. Practical Issues in Geriatrics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-28061-0_29

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