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End-of-Life Care Needs and Preferences Among Independent Community-Dwelling Older Adults 65 Years or Older: A Secondary Data Analysis

Sessanna, Loralee DNS, RN, CNS, AHN-BC

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: November-December 2010 - Volume 12 - Issue 6 - p 360-369
doi: DOI: 10.1097/NJH.0b013e3181f0cd35
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The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to (1) describe what independent community-dwelling older adults 65 years or older embrace as meaningful regarding end-of-life (EOL) care needs and preferences, (2) describe factors constituting EOL care needs and preferences among independent community-dwelling older adults 65 years or older, and (3) describe how independent community-dwelling older adults 65 years or older approach discussing EOL care needs and preferences. Corbin and Strauss's grounded theory methodology was utilized to analyze data. Findings resulting from this secondary data analysis revealed experiencing end of life as the basic social process with three categories comprising the basic social process: fearing, caring, and preparing. To elicit rich and valuable information regarding what older adults view as important for the provision of respectful, dignified, and quality EOL care, healthcare providers need to set aside adequate time for storytelling, need to have patience and be supportive, and need to possess genuine listening skills. In addition, when discussing EOL care with older adults, healthcare providers need to explore possible fears, specific care needs, and plans for preparing for the end of life.

Author Affiliations: Loralee Sessanna, DNS, RN, CNS, AHN-BC, Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, School of Nursing.

Address correspondence to Loralee Sessanna, DNS, RN, CNS, AHN-BC, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, School of Nursing, 3435 Main St, 304 A Wende Hall, Buffalo, NY 14214-3079 (ls33@buffalo.edu).

© 2010 The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association