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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 65

of 'Palliative care: Nursing home'

Strategies and innovative models for delivering palliative care in nursing homes.
Carlson MD, Lim B, Meier DE
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2011;12(2):91.
The goals of palliative care address critical issues for individuals with complex and serious illness residing in nursing homes, including pain and symptom management, communication, preparation for death, decisions about treatment preferences, and caregiver support. Because of the uncertain prognosis associated with chronic nonmalignant diseases such as dementia, many nursing home residents are either not referred to hospice or have very short or very long hospice stays. The integration of palliative care into nursing homes offers a potential solution to the challenges relating to hospice eligibility, staffing, training, and obtaining adequate reimbursement for care that aligns with resident and surrogate's preferences and needs. However, the delivery of palliative care in nursing homes is hindered by both regulatory and staffing barriers and, as a result, is rare. In this article, we draw on interviews with nursing home executives, practitioners, and researchers to describe the barriers to nursing home palliative care. We then describe 3 existing and successful models for providing nonhospice palliative care to nursing home residents and discuss their ongoing strengths and challenges. We conclude with specific policy proposals to expedite the integration of palliative care into the nursing home setting.
Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA. Melissa.Carlson@mssm.edu