End-of-life care in long-term care settings for older people: a literature review
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Most if not all of end-of-life care for people living in long-term care facilities is provided within the facility. This type of care is likely to increase with population ageing. This paper presents a literature review of the published literature on end-of-life care in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, aged care facilities, residential care homes and continuing care settings, published between 2000 and 2004. A subset of literature that focuses on the development of practice and the identification of interventions to promote the provision of end-of-life care in care homes is examined in detail. Twenty-five papers are identified and these address modes of service delivery, the introduction of 'interventions' that facilitate care for individuals, and the development of tools. This work remains largely descriptive. Small-scale work dominates, reflecting the initial stages of knowledge development in this area of work. Suggestions for ways to expand the scope of the end-of-life care development work in long-term care settings are presented, as it is time to expand the horizons of these initiatives to become more rigorous and responsive to the needs of older people and their families in this care setting.
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