Study Identifies Factors Linked to Dying Comfortably for the Very Old

Analyzing factors potentially related to comfort during very old people’s final illness.


Death, the end of life, causes due to aging, predation, disease, suicide, and accidents. Ageing is the most common reason. According to a new study, older people are likely to die comfortably if they die in a care home or at home than those who died in the hospital.

This new study by the University of Cambridge suggests, the larger part of extremely old individuals revealed side effects toward the finish of life, such as, trouble, torment, and sadness.

Most of the older age people, often affected by multiple conditions. This makes their end-of-life care complicated. In the UK, in just a quarter of a century, almost older people died from around one in five in 1990 to almost half of all current deaths.

Dr. Jane Fleming from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care said, “How we care for the oldest members of society towards the end of their lives is one of the big issues for societies across the world. The UK is not the only country where an urgent review of the funding for older people’s long-term care is needed, along with commitments to staff training and development in this often undervalued sector.”

Most of them, who affected with dementia commonly report multiple symptoms as they approach the end-of-life. If these symptoms are not controlled, it may worsen an individual’s quality of life.

According to scientists, their findings suggest improved training in end-of-life care for all staff, in all settings, and in particular to discuss the current shortage of palliative care doctors in the NHS.

Only a few oldest old dies at home. Little is known about symptom control for ‘older old’ people or whether care in different settings enables them to die comfortably.

To understand it, scientists analyzed the associations between factors potentially related to comfort during very old people’s final illness. It mainly involves physical and cognitive disability, place of care and transitions in their final illness, and place of death.

Scientists conducted the study with 180 people aged between 79 and 107 years. They found that just one in 10 participants died without symptoms of distress, pain, depression, and delirium or confusion. On the other hand, most of the people- almost half, died due to a combination of two or more of these symptoms.

When they reported symptoms, only a few of them treated effectively. Scientists compared this data with people who died in hospital. The odds of being reported dying comfortably were four times as high for people whose end-of-life care had been in a care home or who died at their usual address, whether that was their own home or a care home.

People living in the community who relied on formal services for support more than once a week, and people who were cared for at home during their final illness but then died in hospital, were less likely to have reportedly died comfortably.

Dr. Flrming said, “It’s heartening that the dominant part of extremely old individuals in our examination, incorporating those with dementia, seem to have been agreeable toward the finish of-life. However, we have to accomplish more to guarantee that everybody can bite the dust easily, wherever they are.”

Dr. Morag Farquhar said, “Improved care in the community should be a priority. Staying at home may not always be the most comfortable setting for end-of-life care, and inadequacies of care may lead to admission to dying in the hospital.”


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