Review of Wellbeing Indicators

Healthy Ageing: End-of-life care

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Healthy Ageing: End-of-life care

Being supported to die well or with dignity is increasingly seen as a key part of positive ageing. In a WHO study carried out to develop a measure of quality of life specifically for older people (the WHOQOL-Old), “Death and dying” was identified as a key domain of quality of later life (Power, Quinn, & Schmidt, 2005). This domain included feelings of uncertainty and fear around death, not feeling in control of how you die, and fear of being in pain before death. In Ireland, while 74% of adults would prefer to die at home, only 26% do (Weafer, 2014). In contrast, among adults who are cared for by specialist palliative care teams, 41% die at home (Murray, McLoughlin, & Foley, 2013). This highlights the need for and importance of access to specialist palliative care for older adults with advanced illness.

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