Palliative care in long-term care: Communicating with families
The percentage of Medicare recipients who die in nursing homes continues to grow. This necessitates skills and competencies in end-of-life care, despite the current scarcity of training in medical and nursing schools. The principles and tenets of Palliative Medicine are very similar to those of Geriatric Medicine, and almost all barriers to good palliative medicine are overcome by good communication. In this setting, communication is important not just between doctor and patient, but between the doctor/interdisciplinary team and the patient and his/her family. In that way, goals of therapy can be identified, and transition from curative to palliative care can be facilitated. improved communication will enhance more frequent and earlier referral to hospice, an underused ally in long-term care.
Galanos, AN; Elbert-Avila, K
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