Providing high-quality pharmaceutical care for the dying older person in hospital

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Healthcare professionals working in hospitals are likely to care for people in their last year of life. Many of these people will be older, frail and at high risk of adverse events. The management of medicines forms a large part of the care of this population. The interdisciplinary healthcare team can identify patients who are near the end of their life and, in partnership with the patient (or substitute decision maker) and family, plan to achieve their goals of care. Pharmacists can contribute to quality outcomes through their specialist knowledge of the unique medication issues at the end of life. This is particularly important in the context of the frail older person with comorbidities that may complicate medication management. Effective medication management and team collaboration can relieve suffering and bring comfort to the dying patient and their family. This article outlines considerations for hospital-based clinicians treating the older person approaching the end of their life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • caregivers
  • comorbidity
  • comprehensive health care
  • health personnel
  • opioid analgesics
  • palliative care
  • patient care
  • terminal care


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