New dimensions in palliative care: a palliative approach to …. final illness in older people

Article by Linda J Kristjanson, Christine Toye and Sky Dawson published in 2003, cites the importance of a palliative approach when caring for those with neurodegenerative diseases as well as elderly people dying from diseases other than cancer.

  • “A palliative care approach has much to offer people in the advanced stages of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as elderly people dying from diseases other than cancer.
  • Palliative care can be part of the treatment repertoire of any health worker, supported by intermittent consultation or referral to specialist palliative care services (eg, for management of neuropathic pain).
  • A palliative care approach encourages a focus on pain and symptom management, and prompts more open communication about end-of-life issues.
  • This approach recruits as necessary the expertise of specialists and multidisciplinary teams to encourage a flexible, responsive service.
  • Home carers and healthcare providers require education to ensure a palliative approach that meets the physical, psychological, spiritual and social challenges facing patients and their families, and enhances dignity and quality of life.”  Retrieved on October 8, 2011 from http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/179_06_150903/kri10329_fm.html

Although published in 2003, this is yet to be translated into practice, and into education of nursing students, health care workers.

Any great ideas on how to help educators teach a palliative approach in core curriculum?

Kath

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