February 4, 2013
Populations around the world are aging, and more people are living with the effects of serious chronic illness toward the end of their lives. Meeting their needs presents a public health challenge. Better palliative care practices are needed to help those involved in planning and supporting care-oriented services most appropriately and effectively suited to the elder care needs.
Long-term care encompasses a wide assortment of medical, social, personal, supportive and specialized housing services needed by individuals who have lost some capacity for self-care because of a chronic illness or disabling condition. With long-term care …show more content…
Between 1950 and 1980 the population age 65 and older more than doubled, from 12.3 million in 1950 to 25.5 million in 1980. During this 30-year period, the percentage increase in the number of elderly was 74 % larger than for the population under age 65 – 108 % compared with 62 % (Taeube, 1983).
The size of the aging population today and in the future is comparatively simple to approximate. It varies on the births in the early years of this century and the deaths in the birth unit in following years.
Although most deaths occur among people who are older, there is relatively little policy concerning their speciﬁc needs towards the end of life. Populations worldwide are ageing, leading to a dramatic increase in the numbers of people living into their seventies, eighties and nineties. Patterns of disease in the last years of life are also changing, with more people dying from chronic debilitating conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia. Since many of these illnesses often occur together among older people, this group frequently experiences multiple health problems and disabilities. In the last year of life, they have symptoms such as pain, anorexia, low mood, mental confusion, constipation, insomnia and problems with bladder and bowel control. Palliative care services urgently need to be