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End-of-Life Care

End-of-life care is a broad term referring to the physical, functional, emotional, spiritual, and social support and care received in the period immediately preceding death. Any dying individual can receive end-of-life care, regardless of age. While death is less common among individuals under 65 and both rare and particularly distressing among children, issues related to end-of-life care are similar at all stages of the life course. This entry explains the components of quality end-of-life care, two strategies for improving end-of-life care across different settings (advance planning and hospice), and identifies ongoing issues with providing quality end-of-life care. Common disparities in end-of-life care are highlighted in each section.

Overview of End-of-Life Care

Typically, end-of-life care lasts for several days, weeks, or a few months, although it may extend ...

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