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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.07.24

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IMAJ | volume

Journal 1, january 2005
pages: 5-8

Planning Care for Non-Oncologic Terminal Illness in Advanced Age

    Summary

    Due to the increase in longevity today, advanced illness in the elderly exists together with severe disability and often dementia that generally become less responsive to known treatment. This leads to repeated admissions to an internal ward in a general hospital, which results not only in a lack of treatment continuity but also in inappropriate management resulting in over- or under-treatment. Towards the end of their lives, the treatment problems of non-oncologic elderly patients with advanced diseases stem from a number of factors: multiple pathology, difficulty in predicting irreversibility, staff reluctance to discontinue active specific treatment and resort to palliative care only, and the lack of a framework to ensure continuity of treatment in the community or hospital. These advanced systemic illnesses are characterized by fluctuating exacerbations and remissions, making it very difficult to assess irreversibility. This article proposes the establishment of advance centralized care planning, based on community care, the geriatric hospital and, in particular, a geriatric support unit within the skilled nursing department, catering holistically for the ongoing needs of the patient and his/her family and supplying a backup to the community care.

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