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WHO report

Our new WHO Palliative Care for older people booklet (PDF, 2.56Mb) is now in print. It is available from the WHO bookshop and is being widely distributed.

Copies were inserted in conference packs at the EAPC conference in Lisbon, May 2011. 

Palliative Care for older people: better practices
Edited by: Sue Hall, Hristina Petkova, Agis D Tsouros, Massimo Costantini and Irene J Higginson. 

I am convinced that this publication will be a source of inspiration, awareness and action.”
Zsuzsanna JakabWHO Regional Director for Europe 

Meeting the palliative care needs of our ageing population is a challenging and growing public health issue. This new WHO publication provides examples of better palliative care for older people to help governments, policy-makers, practitioners and voluntary and statutory organizations meet the needs of this vulnerable population. It builds on two previous publications in the WHO Solid Facts series, Palliative care – the solid facts and Better palliative care for older people, which set out the growing needs of older people, showed some of the problems faced in the European Region and introduced the concept of palliative care. For the new guidance we gathered innovative and creative examples of palliative care for older people focusing on the European Region. These examples were appraised by an international panel of experts from different disciplines and countries. We included examples of ways to improve palliative care in various settings such as in hospitals, in nursing homes and at home. We also included examples of how symptoms can be improved, family members and caregivers supported and staff educated in the many places in which older people receive care. Since we did not have the space to cover many other examples, these are listed in the accompanying table. Our recommendations highlight the need to develop, invest in and implement palliative care strategies that include specifically the needs of older people and highlight the need to invest in research programmes to determine the cost-effectiveness of ways to improve palliative care for older people. This work was supported by funding from the Fondazione Maruzza Lefebvre D’Ovidio Onlus. 

Further background information is in the Key reports, reviews and resources section.