End-of-life care becomes an issue at some point for elderly clients. Even with the emergence of palliative care programs and hospice programs, the majority of elderly people do not die in their own home as is their preference. What are the reasons for this trend? Discuss what you can do as a nurse to support your clients in end-of-life care and in supporting their desires. Support your response with evidence-based literature. references Purchase the answer to view it

Title: Factors Influencing the Delivery of End-of-Life Care for Elderly Clients: A Nursing Perspective

End-of-life care is a critical aspect of healthcare provided to elderly clients, ensuring their comfort and dignity during the final stages of life. Despite the availability of various options such as palliative care programs and hospice services, a significant proportion of elderly individuals do not die in their preferred setting, which is often their own home. This study aims to explore the reasons behind this trend and discuss the role of nurses in supporting elderly clients in end-of-life care, aligning their care with their desires. The paper will draw upon evidence-based literature to inform the discussion.

Reasons for the Trend:
Several factors contribute to the trend of elderly individuals not being able to die in their preferred home setting. These factors include inadequate access to appropriate end-of-life care services, lack of advance care planning, and familial and societal attitudes towards dying.

1. Inadequate Access to End-of-Life Care Services:
One major reason behind the low proportion of elderly clients dying at home is the limited availability and accessibility of end-of-life care services. Palliative care programs and hospice services may not be universally accessible to all elderly individuals across different geographical locations or economic status. Limited access to these services can lead to a higher likelihood of deaths occurring in acute care settings such as hospitals or nursing homes, rather than in the home environment.

2. Lack of Advance Care Planning:
Advance care planning ensures that an individual’s preferences regarding end-of-life care and place of death are documented and communicated to healthcare providers and family members. However, many elderly individuals do not engage in comprehensive advance care planning, which can result in their preferences not being honored. The absence of clear directives regarding end-of-life care decisions can lead to a default assumption that acute care facilities are the most appropriate and safest place for elderly clients, thus contributing to deaths occurring outside the home.

3. Familial and Societal Attitudes Towards Dying:
Attitudes and beliefs within families and society play a significant role in end-of-life care decisions for elderly individuals. Family members may be unwilling or unable to provide care for their dying loved ones at home due to various reasons, such as limited resources, inadequate knowledge of appropriate end-of-life care practices, or cultural beliefs. Moreover, societal norms and stigmas surrounding death and dying can influence individuals’ perception of dying at home, leading to a preference for institutional settings.

The Nurse’s Role in End-of-Life Care:
Nurses play a crucial role in ensuring that elderly clients receive appropriate end-of-life care aligned with their desires. The following strategies can be employed by nurses to support clients’ end-of-life care preferences:

1. Facilitating Advance Care Planning:
Nurses can champion advance care planning by initiating conversations about end-of-life care preferences early in the care continuum. This approach enables individuals to reflect on their desires and values and make informed decisions regarding their end-of-life care choices. Nurses can provide education and resources to support clients in completing advance directives and appointing surrogate decision-makers when necessary.

2. Advocating for Improved Access to End-of-Life Care Services:
Nurses have a strong advocacy role in promoting equitable access to palliative care programs and hospice services. They can collaborate with healthcare organizations, policymakers, and other stakeholders to identify and address barriers to accessing end-of-life care services. This may involve lobbying for expanded services, reducing financial burdens associated with, and improving the geographical reach of such services.

3. Educating Families and Caregivers:
Nurses can provide education and support to families and caregivers to enhance their understanding of appropriate end-of-life care practices. By addressing misconceptions and fears surrounding death and dying, nurses can empower families to consider supporting their loved ones’ end-of-life care preferences at home. Providing guidance on pain management, comfort measures, and emotional support techniques can contribute to a positive and dignified end-of-life care experience for both the client and their loved ones.

End-of-life care for elderly clients necessitates aligning care with their preferences, particularly regarding the place of death. Limited access to end-of-life care services, incomplete advance care planning, and familial and societal attitudes towards dying contribute to the trend of elderly individuals not dying in their preferred home setting. To address these challenges, nurses can facilitate advance care planning, advocate for improved access to end-of-life care services, and educate families and caregivers. By empowering elderly individuals and their support networks, nurses can enhance the likelihood of end-of-life care occurring in the preferred setting, thus promoting comfort, dignity, and quality of life during this crucial phase.