Palliative Care in the Long-Term Care Setting
Professionals caring for frail older adults understand that the percentage of patients dying in hospitals is decreasing while the percentage of patients dying at home or in post-acute and long-term care (PA/LTC) facilities is increasing. Patients may experience physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering for months or even years before they enter the active phase of dying from their illness. To ensure that PA/LTC patients with chronic and progressive illnesses receive optimal care; all members of the interdisciplinary team should be proficient in the assessment and relief of suffering. Such a "whole-person" approach to the care of patients whose diseases are not responsive to curative treatment is called palliative care. This manual provides helpful and practical guidance to PA/LTC professionals who are motivated to improve palliative and end-of-life care by providing organizational leadership, promoting education, developing best practice guidelines, and implementing quality assurance.