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Seeking stories of palliative care for older people

Author: Katherine Pettus, Advocacy Officer, IAHPC & Kate Jackson, International Editor, ehospice
22 August 2017

The global population is ageing; everyone, everywhere is living longer with more complex healthcare needs. Longevity does not always bring quality of life, though, especially in the face of chronic conditions.

Palliative care can help older people and their families facing life limiting illnesses to manage the pain and other symptoms, including psychological, social and spiritual suffering.

Since almost 70 percent of people needing palliative care at the end of life are older (aged 60 and above), it is essential that governments ensure that palliative care is available for all who need it, including elders.

The topic of palliative care for older persons will be on the agenda of the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing next year at the United Nations.

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance welcome all palliative care team providers to submit their stories, photos, and videos (with permission of the elders of course) for a special series of articles on ehospice focusing on palliative care for older persons.  

Questions to consider include:

  1. Does your organisation provide palliative care for older people?
  2. If so, what is included in this care?
  3. How many older people does your organisation reach?
  4. Is there a particular story that stands out for you from your work with older people, either an example of good care, care that could have been better, or even a heartwarming personal story?
  5. How does the palliative care you provide help older persons and their families to achieve better quality of life?

We are beginning to gather a body of evidence from all our partners in many countries regarding the state of palliative and long term care for older persons.

A campaign leading up to the meeting will promote this very exciting and timely topic at the Open Ended Working Group in July 2018. This will include side events, expert panels, and testimony of civil society providers of palliative care for older persons.

We invite you to join us and submit your stories! Email your contributions to Kate Jackson, ehospice international editor k.jackson@ehospice.com or Katherine Pettus, IAHPC Advocacy Officer kpettus@iahpc.com.

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