Palliative Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Marta Nemcikova, Zuzana Katreniakova, Patricia Dobrikova

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the paper is to find out and define how palliative principles can be applied to the care of seriously ill and dying older adults in long-term care settings, despite the limitations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. THEORETICAL BASE: The issue is viewed from an eco-social perspective with an emphasis on social support in coping with the stressful situation of patients/clients, their informal caregivers and health and social care professionals. METHODS: Narrative review. OUTCOMES: Six studies from three continents are included in the review. The results were further categorized according to the objectives of palliative care in the psycho-social domain: 1) to improve the patient’s quality of life until natural death, and to promote patient autonomy; 2) to provide support to relatives and loved ones during the patient’s illness, as well as after death, at the time of bereavement; and 3) to provide care by a team of professionally competent staff. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Retrospective findings can be used in social work practice to deliver evidence-based psychosocial social support interventions in palliative care. Social workers will be able to use these findings in practice when similar distressing situations arise, should they recur in the future.

palliative care, geriatric syndromes, dementia, COVID-19, social support

p. 16-26

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