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Wiley, International Journal of Older People Nursing, 1(1), p. 56-63

DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-3743.2006.00010.x



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Palliative care in long-term care: A system in change

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This paper is available in a repository.

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The provision of palliative care for older people within the next decade will need to be substantially different to that provided today. In long term care settings the achievement of quality palliative care will require attention to all levels of the health and social care system, in both its formal and informal manifestations. We suggest that long-term care facilities will become the hospices of the future, caring for older people with chronic conditions with a long trajectory to death, the most common being dementia. We see this progression as inevitable and appropriate if the right support is provided. We discuss the impact that transferability and sustainability has had on the present provision of palliative care for older people and how that may affect the future. Four forces which are important factors in public policy; leadership, a culture that supports learning throughout the care process, an emphasis on effective team development and the use of information technologies for quality activities are used as a framework for our vision of social planning. We then go on to discuss the impact of costs, workforce, service planning and public awareness as three vital areas where progress needs to be carefully tackled. We suggest some likely poor outcomes if this planning does not occur, but indicate that if planning and implementation is effective then services can provide the kind of care the baby boomer generation seeks.