Advance Care Planning Throughout the End-of-Life

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Advance care planning, death, dying, long-term care, professional communication, end-of-life care


Advance care planning throughout the end-of-life is an increasingly important aspect of professional practice with older adults and their families. As the nation's population continues to live longer, more and more people will experience years of functional and cognitive decline prior to death. This article discusses the growing importance of advance care planning using a long-range, holistic perspective of examining care needs throughout the end of life. End-of-life care is conceptualized by three trajectories of decline leading to death, with about two-thirds of all older adults succumbing to four key conditions: congestive heart failure, emphysema, frailty, and dementia. Research regarding the advance care planning needs of older adults with the key conditions is presented. Further research is needed to enhance social work practice in this area.

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Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, v. 3, issue 2, p. 39-58

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