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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2001 Sep-Oct;18(5):321-6.

Dying in long-term care facilities: support needs of other residents, relatives, and staff.

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School of Health and Social Welfare, Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.


This paper explores the support needs of residents, relatives, and care staff when someone dies in a facility for older people. The authors draw on the qualitative findings from an English study, which investigated the case for applying the principles and practices of palliative care to people dying in these settings. Relatives need practical as well as emotional support, which is often not met adequately by nursing home staff. Managers varied in the extent to which they recognized other residents' emotional needs or supported relatives. Care staff members acknowledged needing practical and emotional support, but management was often unable to deliver it. Lack of training in recognizing and addressing needs in addition to financial and staffing constraints were factors that prevented managers from providing support for staff, residents, and relatives.

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