Better palliative care for older people




Edited by Elizabeth Davies and Irene J. Higginson
2004, 40 pages
ISBN 92 890 1092 4
This publication is only available online.

Palliative care is of growing public health importance. Most deaths in developed countries occur in people aged over 65, but relatively little health policy is directed at their needs in the last years of life. Older people tend to receive less palliative care than younger people and such services have focused on cancer. Aimed at health policy- and decision-makers, this booklet presents the needs of older people, the different trajectories of illnesses they suffer, evidence of underassessment of pain and other symptoms, their need to be involved in decision-making, evidence for effective palliative care solutions, and issues for the future. A companion booklet entitled Palliative care. The solid facts considers how to improve services and educate professionals and the public.