A Qualitative Exploration of the Experiences of People Living Alone and Receiving Community-Based Palliative Care
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Background: It is projected that in Australia there will be between 28% and 48% of palliative care patients living alone by the year 2031. As such, it will become increasingly important to provide appropriate home-based care in order to support these patients to be cared for and die at home. Aim: This study explored the experiences of community-based palliative care cancer patients who live alone without a caregiver and what psychosocial issues they face. Methods: Face-to-face semistructured interviews were conducted with eight participants, and constant comparison was used for the analysis. Findings: Four main themes emerged: (1) loss of social networks; (2) maintaining independence; (3) balancing independence and the need for assistance; and (4) planning for the end of life. Discussion: Participants balanced independence with the need to accept help in order to maintain independence. Participants became more flexible about their preferred place of death. Conclusion: The practice implications for working with people close to death who are living alone are that supports and assistance may be needed to maintain social networks and also a sense of independence.
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Aoun, Samar; Wall, D.; Kristjanson, Linda; Shahid, Shaouli (2012)Background: Community-based palliative care services face challenges in meeting the needs of terminally ill clients who live alone without a primary caregiver. Yet, there is a dearth of literature on the perceptions of ...
Do models of care designed for terminally ill 'home alone' people improve their end-of-life experience? A patient perspectiveAoun, Samar; O’Connor, M.; Skett, K.; Deas, Kathleen; Smith, J. (2012)Palliative care patients who live alone report greater psychological distress, and are less likely to die at home than those living with a family carer. However, there is a lack of research on the value of models of care ...
Supporting palliative care clients who live alone: Nurses' perspectives on improving quality of careAoun, Samar; Breen, Lauren; Skett, K. (2014)Background: Terminally ill people who live alone at home are disadvantaged in terms of their places of care and death and health outcomes. There is a need to trial models of care that can extend the period of care at home ...