Premila Fade is a Geriatrician with an interest in medical ethics and end of life care. Here she discusses BGS’s Living and Dying Well with Frailtyevent which was held on 6 March in London. She tweets @premzf
If you were an older person living with frailty where and how would you want to spend your last 1000 days? It is often difficult to accurately predict prognosis for older adults living with frailty and they have different needs at the end of life to younger people. Traditional models of specialist palliative care do not always meet these needs or those of the carers and family supporting them.
What makes frailty different from other conditions at the end of life is that there can be prolonged periods of relative stability and then a potentially mild illness/insult causes a significant or catastrophic deterioration. This acute deterioration often triggers the conventional response to crisis – 999, ambulance to ED, investigations and the commencement of invasive medical treatment. Continue reading →
Professor Martin Vernon is National Clinical Director for Older People and Person Centred Integrated Care at NHS England. He tweets @runnermandoc. Dr Dawn Moody is Associate National Clinical Director for Older People and Integrated Person-Centred Care for NHS England. She tweets @Moody_D_K.They will be speaking at the BGS Living and Dying Well with Frailty event today. Follow the conference via #bgsconf
Frailty is an especially problematic long term condition characterised by declining intrinsic capacity to deal with stressor events such as acute illness or physical accidents. When severe it significantly increases personal annual risk of reaching end of life. While occurring alongside human ageing, not everyone develops frailty and it is not solely confined to older people. NHS England estimates 20% of the population aged 90 and over remains fit and are therefore likely to be fortunate in ageing well. Conversely we estimate that up to 25% of people aged 65 to 69 are living with mild frailty in England which compared to their fit peer group places them at twice the annual risk of reaching end of life. A further 5% of this age group is estimated to be living with moderate or severe frailty.Continue reading →
Dr Ruth England is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Royal Derby Hospital. She tweets @DrRuthEngland. She will be speaking at the upcoming BGS event Living and Dying Well with Frailty on 6 March in London. Please note this event has now SOLD OUT.
Palliative care is an active, holistic approach to those facing life-threatening illness. Good palliative care allows us ‘to live as well as possible for as long as possible’; and includes support for those approaching the end of their life.
In the UK, someone suffers a stroke every 5 minutes. Although there has been a decline in stroke mortality, it remains a leading cause of death in those aged over 65. There a high risk of dying immediately after an event, and 40% of those affected by stroke die within a year. Long term survivors are likely to be burdened with ongoing physical, psychological and social issues. Continue reading →
Dawne Garrett is Professional Lead for Older People and Dementia at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Eleanor Sherwen is Professional Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care, and also works at the RCN. They will be delivering a workshop at Living and Dying Well with Frailty Meeting on 6 March in London. Please note this meeting has now sold out and there will be no on site registration. To join the waiting list please email email@example.com
Approaching end of life care discussions with the patient for the first time…
Dawne and I have been asked to deliver a 60 minute workshop on this key and sometimes challenging area of practice. The importance of choice and the delivery of holistic person centred care is repeatedly highlighted in the literature, both from researchers and policy makers. Yet how can we even begin to deliver person centred care when there is at times a reluctance to open up and initiate these essential conversations? Let alone when communicating with someone who has limited sight, poor hearing and cognitive impairment. The evidence says that professionals can feel more comfortable approaching conversations in relation to sex, rather than having conversions with patients and those that are important to them focused on death and dying. Continue reading →