Even though there have been significant improvements in palliative care and the rise in hospice care programs in recent years, many elderly patients still die in special facilities. These include nursing homes, inpatients hospitals, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and others (Kim et al., 2021). However, this is often not consistent with the patient’s desires. Many elderly patients would prefer spending their time at home, surrounded by the familiar faces of the people they love. Different reasons and factors may be involved in the patients’ and their families’ lives, preventing them from providing their elderly loving ones with end-of-life care at home (Kim et al., 2021). For example, all the family members may be too involved with their jobs, or they may have to leave the house too often.
Nurses, like other health professionals, can have a significant influence on the patient’s end-of-life care system. They can impact whether their patient’s relatives will eventually decide to follow the wishes of their elderly family member or use a particular facility for end-of-life care. As a nurse, I would discuss the patient’s desires in person at first to make sure they feel comfortable being open and honest. I would then try to involve all family members and provide them with the necessary information regarding their options. I would also talk to them about the importance considering the patient’s desires. Based on the patient’s wishes, I would develop a detailed end-of-life care plan and introduce the palliative care team to the patient and their family (Kim et al., 2021). Most importantly, I would ensure that the plan includes the promotion of comfort, pain relief, and a constant support system.
Kim, K., Jang, S. G., & Lee, K. (2021). A network analysis of research topics and trends in end-of-life care and nursing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(1), 313.