Family Preparedness and End of Life Support before the Death of a Nursing Home Resident
Today’s industrialized societies have ‘invented’ chronic illness, notably cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, which now have a long period of progressive decline, eventually leading to death. Along with the ‘invention’ of chronic illness came the need for nursing homes, to care for people during a prolonged period of chronic illness and increasing disability. Currently, about 4-7% of the overall North American population, and up to 30% of those aged 85+, live in nursing homes. The vast majority of people admitted to a nursing home reside there until death; each year, 25% of all deaths in the United States and 35% of all deaths in Canada occur in nursing homes about one-third of nursing home residents die each year in North America. End-of-life care of nursing home residents, now and in the future, must encompass specific strategies for residents dying of dementia, and the impact on their family caregivers.
This evidence-based guideline provides end-of-life support for family members before the death of a nursing home resident. This guideline is intended for front-line staff (e.g., registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, care attendants, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers) who care for the elderly and provide support to the elders’ families in nursing homes. It is also intended for care managers who develop policy and procedures in nursing home settings. Written 2002; Revised 2009; 2015.
Toolkit Included in Guideline: