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Br J Gen Pract. 2010 Apr;60(573):171-9. doi: 10.3399/bjgp10X483959.

Place of death for the 'oldest old': > or =85-year-olds in the CC75C population-based cohort.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge. jane.fleming@phpc.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Deaths are rising fastest among the oldest old but data on their transitions in place of care at the end of life are scarce.

AIM:

To examine the place of residence or care of > or =85 year-olds less than a year before death, and their place of death, and to map individual changes between the two.

DESIGN OF STUDY:

Population-based cohort study.

SETTING:

Cambridge City over-75s Cohort (CC75C) study, UK.

METHOD:

Retrospective analysis of prospective data from males and females aged > or =85 years at death who died within a year of taking part in any CC75C survey (n = 320); death certificate linkage.

RESULTS:

Only 7% changed their address in their last year of life, yet 52% died somewhere other than their usual address at the time of death. Over two-thirds were living in the community when interviewed <1 year before death, but less than one-third who had lived at home died there (less than one-fifth in sheltered housing). Care homes were the usual address of most people dying there (77% in residential homes, 87% in nursing homes) but 15% of deaths in acute hospital came from care homes.

CONCLUSION:

More than half the study sample of individuals of advanced old age had a change in their place of residence or care in their last year of life. These findings add weight to calls for improved end-of-life care in all settings, regardless of age, to avoid unnecessary transfers. The study data provide a baseline that can help plan and monitor initiatives to promote choice in location of care at the end of life for the very old.

PMID:
20353663
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2845508
Free PMC Article
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