Palliative Care of Aged Nononcologic Patients

Prof. univ. Dr. Ioana Dana Alexa

University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Grigore T. Popa” Iași, România, Geriatric and gerontology, Internal medicine

Primit: 1.09.2019 • Acceptat pentru publicare: 29.09.2019

Abstract

The care process of senior patients approaching the end of life is a complex one as it should combine the care of the multiple chronic diseases that are usually the attribute of this age category with the alleviation of the burden of suffering, pain and humiliation. This is the reason why, in recent years we noted an increasingly higher emphasis on the early integration of the palliative care team in the geriatric assessment and geriatric team.

We present two recent projects that aim to develop a common curriculum – geriatric and palliative medicine -, to be implemented to the teams dealing mainly with the medical-social assistance of the elderly with severe concomitant diseases These teams are thought to require complex geriatric and palliative knowledge, with a special focus on assessing their degree of frailty and functional decline rate. The results of these projects showed that both teams have gained valuable experience in a more efficiently human approach of complex elderly patients, with superior results in attending to their needs and in improving the quality of life as they near their death. It has been noticed that, although the dying elderly accept with resignation, and often with serenity, their end, they fear abandonment or dying in a hospital room, surrounded not by loved ones, but by intensive care devices they dislike. Associating palliative care to senior patients at the end of life improves greatly the quality of medical care we can provide for both patient and loved ones.

Keywords: palliative care, elderly, geriatric assessment

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