Staff and family relationships in end-of-life nursing home care

Nursing Ethics 18 (1):42-53 (2011)
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This article examines the involvement of residents and their relatives in end-of-life decisions and care in Norwegian nursing homes. It also explores challenges in these staff—family relationships. The article is based on a nationwide survey examining Norwegian nursing homes’ end-of-life care at ward level. Only a minority of the participant Norwegian nursing home wards ‘usually’ explore residents’ preferences for care and treatment at the end of their life, and few have written procedures on the involvement of family caregivers when their relative is in the terminal phase. According to the respondents, most staff seem to comfort relatives well. However, several challenges were described. The study revealed a need for better procedures in the involvement of residents and relatives in nursing home end-of-life care. The findings emphasize a need to strengthen both the involvement of nursing home physicians and staff communication skills



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